Take Christianity Out of the Box: A Real, Living Faith

Take Christianity Out of the Box: A Real, Living Faith May 23, 2024


For whatever reason, I began reflecting on my years working on my undergrad in education. At the height of the Covid lockdowns, I, and many lucky students around the U.S. engaged in online courses in order to act like nothing was happening. In the front room of my mother’s house, I sat at the piano bench, laptop on top of the piano, in a Zoom class with the professor and 8 or so other students.

My professor opened up a discussion about the phenomena of “code-switching”. This is where we as humans have different sets of language that we use when we are around certain people. We interact with teachers differently than our loved ones. Our best friends receive more jovial and free language sets than our bosses. Our pets, even, receive different versions of us than say our human companions (and thank goodness) In other words: We are completely different people depending on those that we are around.

I then began to think through how this may impact our understanding of how Christians act outside of the Christianese bubble and how much of a detriment to the Church this is. As Christians, I believe we are called to live above the patterns of the world. We are to live in a way that reflects Christ in every aspect of our lives: how we think, how we speak, and how we act. And while this doesn’t happen perfectly, perhaps this shouldn’t keep us from trying.

Get Rid of the Boxes

We love to put our lives in boxes. We have a box for work. There is a dusty old box for the Christmas season. A box for family reuinions lives in the attic. A box for social interaction, a box for school, a box for interacting with co-workers and friends, and a box for working with strangers all have different tools, attitudes, work ethic, and language sets. And of course, typically, there is the religion box that we like to keep all nice and neat, with the right clothes, the right songs, the right mood, the right time of quiet, and the right environment and day to open it on up and use what’s inside. For Christians, this should not be so.

Allow me to introduce 3 passages as we explore the call to dust of the boxes:

Romans 12: 1-1

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Have you ever offered your body as a sacrifice? Sacrifices in a gentile context were used to hopefully please the gods. By offering the right sacrifice, the gods would hopefully be moved to care for the people. They would provide rain, give favor in war, provide fertility, and take care of the daily activities of the people… hopefully. With the God of the Bible, offering our bodies as a living sacrifice entail offering ourselves as God’s due. We are giving God everything about us.

And He is not like the pagan deities that are spiteful and self-serving and unreliable (are you catching on the how may times I typed “hopefully” above?); No. He is a God who loves and cares for us. He is reliable, and faithful to His people. He gives good gifts to His children and empowers those who call on His name. Giving our bodies to God as a living sacrifice entails giving everything about ourselves over to Him. We are not to conform to the world, but are to be transformed with a renewed mind. Whats the point? Offer your body as a sacrifice to God.

2 Corinthians 5: 20-21

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Have you ever considered yourself as an ambassador for Christ? Have you ever sought to represent Jesus the same the way in your church community as you do in your social settings, your work spaces, and your vacation? Perhaps we all must take time to reflect on our ambassadorship of Christ. For we are the ones who are representing Jesus as if we are from the foreign country of His kingdom. Every action we take, every move we make, and every word we speak, God is seeking to make an appeal of reconciliation to the world. Let us not stifle this act of the Lord by taking lightly our role as ambassadors.

1 Peter 2: 1-3

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Have you ever turned away from sin? Read the question again… Have you ever turned away from sin? Repentance is important if we are to represent Jesus well. When we put our faith in Jesus, we make an intitial move of repentance away from the world. Galatians 5 outlines fruits of the flesh that we repent from. A saving faith in Jesus does not happen without repentance. For to turn to Christ is to turn away from the world and what it offers. Instead of sin, we are to crave the teachings of Christ, this is the spiritual milk that Peter refers to. We should crave the wisdom of the Lord like we craze [insert your favorite food here.] In doing so, our actions become informed by God’s word.

Our Faith Should Bleed Over Into Everything We Do

I hope that this exercise has been fruitful. As we’ve seen, the Christian walk is that of a complete lifestyle switch that is not designed to be compartmentalized. To follow Jesus isn’t to give him a part of you, but is to give Him the fullness of everything you are: your wants, desires, needs, goals, interests, and chasings.

If you haven’t considered this before, don’t freak out! Prayerfully consider who Jesus is, what He did for you, and what he calls you to! Read Mark!

If you have, here’s a list of questions for you to reflect on:

  • Does Jesus influence how you vote?
  • How does Jesus influence your stance on abortion?
  • How does Jesus influence your friend group?
  • How does following Jesus influence the music you listen you?
  • How does following Jesus influence what you watch?
  • How does following Jesus influence your screen time?
  • How does following Jesus influence how you speak and what you speak about?
  • How does following Jesus influence how you think of the guy that lives on the side of the road?
  • The widow? The orphan? The immigrant? The foreigner? Those of a different faith than you? A different denomination?
  • Your perceived enemies and the perceived enemies of your ethnic group or nation?
  • How does following Jesus impact what hills you die on and who you die for?

I am under the firm belief that following Jesus should influence every opinion we have, from our political and cultural preferences to what we base our life’s goals around. Wherever Jesus is missing in your lives, we should be hard-pressed to introduce that section of our lives to Jesus. He will redeem and restore it. And better yet, He will put it on mission.


How do you plan on being an ambassador this week? Leave a Comment Below!

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