My Grace-Full Life

3.20.18 Praise Prompt: The Dangers of Compartmentalizing

PRAISE PROMPT ••• I am a compartmentalizer.
Especially with my son, mother, and grandmother.
And it’s not so much compartmentalizing in the way I interact with them, as much as I often wish I could put each of them on a shelf, and pull them down when I want to spend time with them, but put them back where they are safe and protected when I need to do other things.
I like knowing where they are and the secure feeling of knowing they are secure.
I want the freedom to go about what I’m doing, but want them waiting exactly where I left them.
Y’all, I’m well aware of how grossly unfair this is, but I’m just being honest.
I get anxious when they don’t answer their phones.
I have a knee-jerk “What’s wrong?” response if I talk to them and they don’t sound bubbly happy, or they call me I think they are doing something else.
I’m working on this.
It’s a part of my control issues and I know it’s not right.
I pray often for the Lord to protect them and for the Holy Spirit to remind me that God is in control when I get anxious about them.
To a degree, I compartmentalize other people, but it’s more of a go to her for this, him for that, her for that other thing, etc.
I think we all compartmentalize to a degree, in one form or another.
Compartmentalizing isn’t always a bad thing, but what about when we compartmentalize our faith?
We go to church on Sunday, then we leave it all right there until we go back the next week.
Would we be recognized as the hands and feet of Christ if we were outside the walls of the church?
The term we’re discussing today is Compartmentalized Christianity.
1 Peter 1:16 NLT says, “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’”
It doesn’t say, “Be holy on Sunday and at Wednesday night choir practice.”
It simply says, “Be.”
Be is a an active word that is in the moment.
It is a verb in the present tense.
Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
“Are” is another present, in-the-moment word.
We can’t be a light to the world if we leave the candle sitting in our favorite pew each Sunday.
And oh how our world needs our bright lights for Jesus!
I wonder what the Apostle Paul would say to our current world, where we can’t speak for fear of offending someone?
Yet, at the same time, we’re encouraged to speak our minds, and then criticized for daring to have a different perspective?
Haha, he was so prolific and unafraid to speak up, can you imagine what he’d have done with a Twitter account??
(Though I think he’d have found the 140 character limit to be stiflingly.)
But I digress…
Paul piggybacked on the words of Jesus when he wrote in Philippians 2:15b, “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”
That’s exactly what we need and exactly why compartmentalizing our Christianity is dangerous!
When we separate our faith and relegate living it only when we’re with other believers, how will we be able to show the love of Jesus to others?
I won’t lie – it’s scary!
We live in a world where a baker had to defend himself to the supreme court because someone was offended that he lived out his Christian values.
I think I can speak confidently on behalf of all who are reading, whether I know you or not, none of us want to walk that kind of road.
The compartmentalized Christian doesn’t have to, but they aren’t living up to their full potential in Jesus when they separate their faith from the rest of their lives.
I’m not saying we should be beating people with our Bibles, but when we live beyond the compartments, the Holy Spirit can use us to produce great fruit.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Y’all, I love the last line of these verses – “there is no law against these things!”
That still holds true 2000 years later!
It’s not a crime to exhibit any of these wonderful qualities!
Let’s throw out the compartments so our lights can shine brightly and reflect the fruits the Holy Spirit is growing in each of us!
Today, can there be any better praise to God than living for Him in all we do?
No matter where we are, or who we’re with, or what we’re doing – if we are doing it to His glory, He is honored and we have let our light shine for the world to see!

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