Friday, August 16, 2013

Living as a Christian in Culture

If we are faithful in mission as Christians, we are forced to wrestle with what it means to be in the world and yet also distinctly Christian. Our tendency is to live in dualism,"This is my church life and this is my work life." In contrast to this, the Gospel of Jesus should saturate every aspect of how we view and interact with others in our places of work and life in general. Here are some thoughts from Mason King at The Village blog:
The Christian lives under a tension of duality, looking to participate in and benefit from secular culture while simultaneously being called to live according to God’s ways. The common inclination is to keep the two separate.... The believer’s call is to realize that God is at work in culture through common grace, using all things to carry forth His purposes. This changes the triumphant desire to redeem and restore culture through our own efforts to a gospel-centered response to grace. It sends the Christian into the culture to live, as Timothy Keller puts it, “with Christian distinctiveness,” intentionally walking out the implications of the gospel in each arena or role in life.

A call to excellence alone would fall short—many people are excellent at what they do but are driven by motives other than the glory of God. Some Christians pursue success in God’s Name and for His glory but trample the tenets of the gospel in their pursuit instead of displaying thoughtful and articulate application of the gospel to their work. The Christian strives to contribute excellence to the culture through a life marked by Christian distinctiveness. This changes the way we interact with our waiter, our co-workers, our boss and our spouse. It changes the motives of our heart from self-centered indulging or protecting actions to God-focused response and praise.

Walking out the implications of the gospel in your daily life takes thoughtful consideration of how the gospel applies to your work, talents, neighborhood and home. Believing lawyers, teachers, artists, nurses and parents exhibit Christian distinctiveness differently due to the inherent nature of their vocation.... Thoughtfulness of action and speech are the fruits of a heart changed by the grace of God in Christ. This heart sees no divide between a secular and sacred world but sees God’s creation that He is working to redeem. This empowers the imagination of a believer to see God’s design for their work and to strive toward its intended beauty in society. When this is the lens of the heart’s vision, we see opportunities to align our lives to God’s ways at every turn. Our behavior shines like the light it is in the dark world around it.
For the whole article click here.

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