Being A Christian On Weekdays # 2
True holiness is no vague sentiment - it is intensely practical. It is nothing less than the bringing of every thought and feeling and act - into obedience to Christ! We are quite in danger of leaving out the element of obedience, in our conception of Christian living. If we do this, our religion loses its strength and grandeur - and becomes weak, nerveless and forceless. As one has said, "Let us be careful how we cull from the gospel such portions as are congenial, forge God's signature to the excerpt, and apply the fiction as a delusive drug to our violated consciences. The beauties and graces of the gospel are all flung upon a background of requirements as inflexible as Sinai, and the granite. Christ built even His glory, out of obedience.
Now, it is the weekday life, under the stress and the strain of temptation; far more than the Sunday life, beneath the gentle warmth of its favoring conditions - which really puts our religion to the test and shows what power there is in it. Not how well we sing and pray, nor how devoutly we worship on Sunday - but how well we live, how loyally we obey the commandments, how faithfully we attend to all our duties, on the other days - tell what manner of Christians we really are.
Nor can we be faithful toward God and ignore our human relationships. "It is impossible," says one, "for us to live in fellowship with God - without holiness in all the duties of life. These things act and react on each other. Without a diligent faithful obedience to the calls and claims of others upon us - our religious profession is simply dead! We cannot go from strife, breaches and angry words - to God. Selfishness, an imperious will, lack of sympathy with the suffering and sorrows of other men, neglect of charitable offices, suspicions, hard censures of those with whom our lot is cast - will miserably darken our own hearts, and hide the face of God from us."
The one word which defines and describes all relative duties is the word LOVE. Many people understand religion to include honesty, truthfulness, justice, purity - but do not think of it as including just as peremptorily: unselfishness, thoughtfulness, kindness, patience, good temper and courtesy. We are commanded to put away lying - but in the same paragraph, and with equal urgency, we are enjoined to let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil-speaking be put away,and to be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another. The law of love in all its most delicate shades of application - to attitude, word,act and manner - is the law of all true Christian living.
Thus the religion of the Sunday, like a precious perfume, must pervade all the days of the week. Its spirit of holiness and reverence, must flow down into all the paths of every day life. Its voices of hope and joy, must become inspirations in all our cares and toils. Its exhortations, must be the guide of hand and foot and finger, in the midst of all trial and temptation. Its words of comfort, must be as lamps to burn and shine in sick-rooms and in the chambers of sorrow. Its visions of spiritual beauty, must be translated into reality in conduct and character.
So, in all our life, the Sunday's lessons - must be lived out during the week! The patterns of heavenly things shown in the mount - must be wrought into forms of reality and act and disposition and character. The love of God, which so warms our hearts as we think of it - must flow out in love to men. We must be Christians on Monday - as well as on the Sunday. Our religion must touch every part of our life - and transforms it all into the beauty of holiness.
~J. R. Miller~