There is a tendency for many of us to live our lives out of “compartments.” We segregate our lives into independent sections that rarely intersect – our work, our home life, our hobbies and special areas of interest, such as volunteering. “Never the twain shall meet” seems to be the philosophy of keeping different facets of our lives distinct.
But should it be that way? Just as in the human body – where various organs have separate and unique functions, but must work together in harmony to maintain a healthy life – our jobs, as well as our roles as spouses, parents, grandparents, community leaders, etc., may look different but combined they comprise who we are as whole beings.
This concept applies to the realm of faith as well. Here, too, many of us find it common to isolate matters of belief and worship to designated days and times during the week. Faith and work, some people believe, have little if anything to do with each other.
However, from its inception, the underlying premise of “Monday Manna” is that faith in God and the principles presented in the Bible are just as relevant to Monday mornings or Thursday afternoons as they are on Sundays. In his book, Monday Morning Atheist, author Doug Spada speaks for many of us, admitting he lived by this false dichotomy for many years:
“I began to practical spiritual schizophrenia and separate my faith from the rest of my life. I switched God off.”
Are you a “Monday morning atheist”? I was. For years I attended Sunday worship services, feeling inspired, but when the next day arrived, I reported for my job as a newspaper editor and for the most part acted as if God did not exist. Then I realized that if my faith were real, it should not be restricted to so-called “religious” settings, but should connect to my life 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I came across a passage that spoke directly about the comprehensive application of the Bible to everyday life: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
This emphasized “every good work,” and I understood this applied to my work as a journalist, as well as the work of bankers and financial advisors, physicians and researchers, school teachers and professors, retail managers and clerks, corporate executives, attorney and accountants, manufacturers, engineers, architects and information technology experts.
One of the clearest ways of communicating our faith is through our actions. Jesus said, “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). If we fail to live according to the faith and values we express, people that observe us have a justifiable right to doubt that we truly believe what we say. Being a follower of Christ means we do not attempt to fit Him into a separate “compartment” of our lives. He is either a central part of everything, or He is not truly a part of our lives at all.
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.comand www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
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1.Do you tend to compartmentalize your life, separating your work from your personal life and non-working activities? Explain your answer.
2. When you hear the term, “Monday morning atheist,” what does that mean to you? Do you know any people like that?
3. If people were to observe your actions and how you conduct yourself at work, without knowing anything about your spiritual beliefs, what do you think they might conclude?
4. What steps would you suggest that someone could take to align his or her faith and work more consistently, rather than having them seem separate and compartmentalized?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:9-11; Proverbs 27:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 10:23-25