BY SHARON VAN ARNEMAN
What would you do differently if I told you that every activity could be a spiritual activity? Consider this list: Teaching a Bible class; going to a prayer meeting; attending church; preaching; cleaning the church; volunteering to drive a group of orphans to a gospel concert; attending a missions conference; visiting the sick and shut-in; helping out at a homeless shelter; grieving with a hurting widow; loving other people’s kids; studying to become a minister.
Now consider this second list: Teaching in public school; shopping; doing the laundry; cleaning my house; driving my kids and their friends to a musical concert; attending PTA meeting; visiting my friends; helping my husband complete a project; rejoicing with my happy neighbour; loving my kids; studying to become a secretary, plumber, computer technician, doctor, journalist, lawyer, pilot, fireman or an engineer.
Does the first list somehow seem more spiritual to you than the second? Have you ever laboured all day long in a hot kitchen over a sumptuous meal for some church function then turned around and fixed your family a quick light lunch – because somehow feeding church people seemed more spiritual to you than cooking your family a decent meal? I have. Deep down in my innermost heart of hearts I knew better, but for a long time in my subconscious thought, I classified some activities as spiritual and some as non-spiritual. Some activities just seemed too trivial to have any spiritual relevance.
But according to scripture, every single thing you do, except wrong of course, can be considered a spiritual activity. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” And 1 Corinthians 10:31 is even more explicit: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” All of this shows that when people look merely on the external, God takes note of the attitude of your heart. It’s not so much what you do, but more so “how” and “why” you do what you do, that will make your activities spiritual or unspiritual.
Just as we can contaminate the most seemingly sacred activity with our impure motives and make it unspiritual, so too the most commonplace activity can become a spiritual activity when done as unto the Lord. I hold no entitlement to my time; God owns every second of it. So when I choose to do whatever I do for Him, my most everyday, ordinary activity is instantly transformed into something sacred and spiritual. My every action matters.
This means that teaching public school carries just as much spiritual significance as teaching my Sunday school class; my secular job becomes no less holy than my ministry duties. I cannot take a spiritual vacation, because every aspect of my life is spiritual. This protects me from a life of extremes and frees me from the burden of living for the approval of others. When God is a part of everything I do, His smile of approval becomes enough for me; all of my work becomes my ministry; and I am free to enjoy a well-balanced spiritual life from which there is no retirement!
To contact Sharon, email: email@example.com