Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The God Box ~ Jacob's Journal

New column! Starting this month, I'll be welcoming a regular visitor to my blog every month - my darling husband, Jacob. I love discussing theology with my husband and frequently marvel at his ability to explain things. I hope you enjoy his bits of wisdom as much as I do. 

As a side note, sometimes he likes to use the "big words". If I looked up a word or concept while reading his article, I added a link in case you need to look it up as well. 

Luke 10:27 HCSBLove the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

Too many Christians today tend to live their lives compartmentalized. Our lives are divided up into little sections or rooms, like a house. There’s the living room, the kitchen, the school room, the playroom, the music room, the TV room, the bathroom, and the somewhere in the house they have a God room.

For some people the God Room is a tiny closet where they have to duck under the coats just to close the door. For others it is a grand an elaborately decorated space, kept pristine and perfect and separated from everything else. 

We go to the God Room on Wednesdays or Sundays or whatever day it is convenient for us to get a god fix. Some even visit the room every morning and then firmly shut the door before going to the next room. We go through life thinking we can carry God around in a little God box.

Our lives have become compartmentalized to the point that church, work, school, God, family, and every other aspect has its own little space and we do not let them mingle.

God did not intend for us to live with our lives divided in such a way, particularly when it comes to a relationship with Him. He wants us to live holistically with Him.

At times divisions are good and even important. There is some merit to having different personas for different circumstances as different situations have varying expectations. For instance, my father-in-law (we'll call him FIL) has two very distinct personas. Business FIL and Family FIL.

I have had the opportunity to work in business with him before and there is a distinct difference in the way he deals with people in both modes. It is quite funny to be hanging out with Family FIL, laughing and joking and playing jokes on each other, only to have the phone ring. When he receives a business call, Business FIL magically appears.

I learned early on that my wife inherited this gene. She has Business Kristi, Family Kristi, and a special adaptation I have named Phone Call Kristi. Author/Blogging Kristi is a strange combination of all of them. It's pretty fun to watch.   

But back to FIL. Business FIL is a great guy. His employees and bosses alike love him. Family FIL is a great father/father-in-law/granddad. But no matter what mode FIL is in, there’s one thing everyone knows about him: He’s a Christian. It is a part of who he is holistically, no matter what personality he puts on the outside.

The thing is, God shouldn't just have a room in your house, even if it is the best room in your house. He should be the foundation of the entire thing.

The Christian faith isn’t a compartment or room in a house to be kept secret or hid away. It is the foundation on which the house should sit. It is the foundation by which you build your entire life, and every compartment must sit on your faith.
 That means you let your faith bleed through every single area of your life. You should be a Christian at work, with friends and enemies, with your spouse, on your Myspace or Twitter, behind closed doors, and every living and breathing second of your life.
You should live for God, breathe for God, sing for God, read about God, pray to God, fear God, strive to be Godly.” (Are You A Compartmentalized Christian? Judge Yourself!, Revelation.co, September 18, 2009)

Compartmentalization of our faith is one of the biggest issues with Christianity in America today. It makes us look like hypocrites... well, I guess it makes us hypocrites. We want our spiritual void filled, but we don’t want to have to live with it all the time.

God calls us to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. When you give it all, there’s nothing left to divide.

Do you have difficulty letting God into every room in your life? What do you try to keep separate? 


  1. Hi Jacob, aka, Kristy! Enjoyed the blog today. I've often felt guilty about being different people in different places. And although some of that is necessary, my prayer is to be a Christian at all times and in every room of my house. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Thanks Marilyn,
    I am glad the post spoke to you today. I think compartmentalization is something we all have to deal with in our modern lives. I don't think it is something to feel guilty about, as Paul said, "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some."(1 Corinthians 9:22b NIV)The important part is that we have our foundations right and Christ shines through all our compartments. I am so blessed to I have had Godly examples like my father-in-law to show me how it can be lived out. Thanks for reading and commenting.