The best kept secret in the Christian life is that everything we do matters to God. Some Christians have the idea that pastors and missionaries are doing “kingdom work,” but the rest of us are not. In this post, I’d like to show how every dimension of human life and culture—work and leisure, art and science, politics and economics, sports and competition, homemaking and education—is ripe with potential to honor God the King. In order to make this point, we must first recognize four biblical truths and learn to ask three practical questions.
The first biblical truth is that there is a great struggle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, Christ and Satan, and between truth and error (Col 1:13). This great struggle manifests itself in different ways in human history. In our current situation in the United States, one way this struggle manifests itself is in our society’s increasing rejection of Christian morality. Because of our beliefs on matters of life and death, and on human sexuality, we as Christians are often viewed as morally inferior and even morally reprehensible. There are many other examples; if we had the time and space to do so in this blog, we could demonstrate ways in which the arts and sciences, politics and economics, sports and competition, education and scholarship, and homemaking are corrupted and misdirected by the kingdom of darkness.
The second biblical truth is that God created the cultural realms we just mentioned, and has good intentions for those realms. It is God who ordered the world in such a manner that humans would create art and undertake scientific research. It is he who made us capable of politics, economics, homemaking, sports, and education. God’s desire is for us to undertake activities in these realms in a way that glorifies him (1 Cor 10:31). And yet, these realms have been hijacked by the kingdom of darkness. They have been corrupted and misdirected toward wrong ends.
The third biblical truth is that God has declared that his son Jesus is Lord over all of these realms. Sometimes Christians tend to think that Christ is Lord over our “churchly” lives but not over our “worldy” lives, as if our quiet times and church attendance matter to God but our social, cultural, and political lives do not. But this mistaken view neglects the Bible’s teaching that God has given Christ authority over everything in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18-20; Col 1:15-20). Christ is the creator of everything, then it makes sense that he is Lord over everything. No piece of our (“secular”) life is to be sealed off from Christ’s lordship. Every square inch of it belongs to Christ and ought to be made to honor him.