I noticed a sign this week that reads, “Everything in life is connected!” I believe that to be a true statement, and I think most people would agree.
We are all connected to each other through many channels including family, work, or school. Today social media has ensured that we are connected or connectable to anyone anywhere. Of course the sign implies a deeper connection than just everyday relationships; it reminds us that our lives intersect with the lives of others and all of creation in countless ways that we may never see but exist all the same.
I find it curious that most people agree that everything is connected and yet we so often insist upon separation of one part of our life from another. Just because we may not see the connection between two things certainly doesn’t mean that they’re not connected nor should be. “Religion has no place in government,” one might say. But what does that say about what we think is the connection in faith and character?
Or does character have no place in politics either? Certainly it does! But religion in politics is not the point; the same could be asked of the workplace, the family, or any other area of life. The point is that there are many people who have decided that the Christian’s relationship with God is not really connected to their character. If it was, then Christian character would be more like Jesus’ than everyone else’s.
So do we, Christians, disconnect aspects of our character from our relationship with God? I’m not sure we would admit to this, but I think it’s a fair and necessary question. Do you claim to be a Christian and yet practice things that are not Christ-like? I ask this with the belief that our practices develop into habits and our habits are a distinct part of our character.
Every Christian should know that it is only by God’s grace that we are given the opportunity to develop Christ-like character, but perhaps we use that as an excuse to ignore God’s command for us to seek holiness as well. Have we forgotten that one of the Fruit of the Spirit is self-control?
In his first letter, Peter reminds the churches of the amazing promise God has made concerning salvation through Jesus Christ by faith alone. This is the gospel message in which every Christian lays their hope. And for this reason, every Christian should be convicted of how our actions are connected to the way others perceive God’s promise.
Peter writes, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV).
Everything is connected, and when we separate our works from our faith, our character suffers. When our character suffers, others notice and assume it is common to all Christians. I wonder what the world would think of Christ’s Church if His people sought holiness the way He commands. Everything in life is connected, if we would only seek His holiness we might find the ability to connect to others in a way that transforms their world into His.
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9AM for Sunday school and 10AM for worship. Everyone is welcome!