In “Other” Words #1

In Other Words

“No distinction was made between the sacred and the everyday . . . their life was all one piece. It was all sacred and all ordinary.”

~ Sue Bender ~
author of Plain and Simple

I’m not sure of the context of this quotation (I’ve never read Plain and Simple, so I don’t know who the “they” is), but I can think about this quotation in context as to what the way of life was in the past and how it has changed now.

In the past, as we all learned in our history and literature classes, life revolved around religion. People started and ended their days with prayer, they went to church every Sunday, and they aimed to live a godly life.

Today people paint quite a different picture. We live in a world that emphasizes email first and last in the day, football on Sundays, and living a life that is better than the Joneses. God’s there alright, but it seems as though He often gets pushed to the side. We are so busy that we often forget to stop and think about His Agenda.

Now, many people stop and say “Hey! I live without distinction between my life and faith! Don’t you see me praying in restaurants? Don’t you see that I not only go to church, but I’m on the committees that help run the church? You can’t tell me that I’m not living my life the way He wants me to live it!”

To that I reply – sure, I see those things. I see you publicly making gestures to affirm your faith. But through all that, without heart and commitment, aren’t you just trying to keep up with the Joneses as well? You may not be buying the newest car and biggest TV, but you’re trying to put up every façade that shows you are the “good Christian” you’re supposed to be.

It’s simply not that easy. There is no cut and dry way to determine who is integrating their faith into their everyday life. Only you and God can know what’s in your heart. In this regard, I’m not judging at all. I only challenge you to look within yourself and ask “Are my spiritual life and the life that I am actively living working in conjunction, or are they two separate facets of myself that I turn on and off depending on my situation?”

I’d like to note that I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the quotation either. While the Christian faith was significantly more prevalent in general society than it is today, I also think that a lot of people who disagreed with Christianity lied and went along with it simply because they didn’t want to face persecution. I am sad that that way of life existed, and am extremely sad that it still exists today (especially in foreign countries).

Please, share your thoughts! I’d love to hear your opinions!

This week’s “In ‘Other’ Words” is hosted by Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience. Check there for others’ opinions on this quotation.