rebelling against low expectations

Don’t Leave Your Christianity at Church


It’s usually easy to live as a set-apart Christian teen on Sunday morning. We’re quick to conquer the church checklist:

Wake up.

Read Scripture.

Go to church.

Read more Scripture.

Listen to a sermon.

Talk to Christian friends (usually about Scripture).

Check. Check. Check.

But between the church doors and the safety of home, something happens. We’re assaulted by our culture. Singing Christ’s praises in a sanctuary of believers is one thing. Broadcasting his name down the dark tunnels of the world is another.

Yet we’re called to do both. Christianity isn’t an act limited to the stage of church. It’s a lifestyle that permeates everything we do and everyone we touch.

That is, if Christ is truly our hope.

Christ Should Ignite Us

Missionary Jim Elliot was twenty when he wrote this prayer in his journal:

God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn up for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life but a full one, like you Lord Jesus.

God answered Jim’s prayer. He was slain by natives in Ecuador eight years later, striving to spread the Gospel among them.

Jim’s brief life proves that Christianity stretches far beyond church on Sunday. Limiting our faith to church is living lukewarmly. But a believer whose wick of life has truly been ignited by Jesus will burn for his glory every day.

Christ Should Infuse Us

Jesus must be more than an accessory to our lives. If he isn’t the only foundation on which we stand, he won’t transform us. Jesus must penetrate the way we live. He must inform the things we love. He must infuse us.

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Cor. 2:15).

Like a fragrant aroma, our faith in Christ should seep into every crack of our lives, infiltrating the in’s and out’s of who we are. Then it should waft into the lives of others.

Paul goes on in 2 Corinthians to remind us that “we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak Christ” (2 Cor. 2:17, italics added).

Do you promote Christ? Or are you a peddler? Peddlers tinker out of duty, but promotes proclaim out of joy. And they do it every day.

When our actions consistently emulate Jesus’ love and our words drip with the sweetness of Scripture, unbelievers should undoubtedly notice we’re more than peddlers of God’s Word. We’re infused by Christ.

Christ Should Inspire Us

What inspires you? Beautiful music? Art? Stories? Nature? Sports? Science? History?

You know what inspires you because it’s what fulfills you. It’s what completes your joy and makes you smile. And most significantly, it’s what spurs you into action. If Jesus has ignited our wick and infused our lives, he will be our greatest source of inspiration. He will fulfill us, complete us, and make us smile.

He will inspire us to act, even outside of church.

A Christianity that can be shed at the sanctuary doors is not Christianity at all, because it proves that Christ is not igniting, infusing, or inspiring us beyond a comfortable church environment. Share on X

A Christianity that can be shed at the sanctuary doors is not Christianity at all, because it proves that Christ is not igniting, infusing, or inspiring us beyond a comfortable church environment.

So whether we’re in the sanctuary of believers, or trudging the dark tunnels of this world, let our lives be wholly proclaiming Christ.

“The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

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About the author

Bethany J. Melton

writes from her brick home on Edgewood Road, where she reads books and takes walks and plants things that sometimes sprout. You can find her words about Truth, Hope, and Home in a pocket of the Internet called Bethany J's Journal.

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rebelling against low expectations

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