It’s obvious what the principles of Christianity should do pertaining to our faith, our worship, and our work as Christians. We develop our faith according to what we read and hear pertaining to the whole of Scripture (Romans 10:17). We worship according to truth (John 4:24), neither adding to nor taking away from what God said in His word (Revelation 22:18-19). Our work as Christians is not to just be largely shaped, but wholly and completely dictated by the terms of the gospel (Ephesians 2:10). At least in principle most Bible believing people will agree with these things, even if they don’t practice them accordingly.
But sadly, that’s where Christianity’s control of our lives often ends. We segment those principles to our “Christian lives” but then forget them altogether when it comes to the “rest of our lives.” As least that’s how we look at it. In our minds we have our “Christian lives” that revolve around church and our relationship with God and then completely separate from that is the “rest of our lives” that encompasses everything else from our marriages, to our families, to our friendships, to our jobs, to anything else in which we might be involved. But the Bible paints a much different picture when it comes how the principles of Christianity should affect our lives.
The apostle Paul had something to say about this to the Colossians when he told them to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). I won’t get much disagreement in citing this verse because the point is clear – God’s word should dwell in our hearts and swell up into an outpouring of praise.
But he went on to say that it should impact us in a broader way – in everything that we do or say. And then he goes on to cite examples of how Christianity should affect the rest of our lives:
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven” (3:17-4:1).
So the word of Christ shouldn’t just impact us in terms of our worshipful response to God, but Paul said it should specifically impact the following areas:
- The way wives interact with their husbands.
- The way husbands interact with their wives.
- The way children respond to their parents.
- The way fathers discipline their children.
- The way employees submit to their employers.
- The way workers approach their work.
- The way employers treat their employees.
And these are just a few examples he cites in what I’m sure could be a much more extensive list which should leave us to understand that we don’t have our “Christian lives” and the “rest of our lives.” When we choose to be Christians that becomes our life and God’s word controls everything in it, from our words to our actions. Let’s choose to be a people who hold fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ we may be proud that we did not run or labor in vain (Philippians 2:16).