(From the Archives – I hope you enjoy it.) I’ve often thought, and heard others say, that men are really good at compartmentalizing. They can put aside one thing to focus on another, even when the thing they are putting aside is extremely important and upsetting. As women, we may not be great at compartmentalizing our feelings, but there is one way we may be too good at it. Do we compartmentalize our Christianity?
What do I mean by that? Let me give you an example. It’s the first night of a new class you’re taking at the local community college. In order for everyone to get to know each other, you go around the room with each person telling the others about themselves. When your turn comes, you might say something like, “I’m Sarah Smith. I’m a wife, mother of two, and I work at XYZ Office. I enjoy scrapbooking, bike riding and reading.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re a Christian, why is that not one of the first things you say about yourself?
The above is just an example, but the point is, as Christians, our faith is the most important thing about ourselves. Shouldn’t our Christianity define who we are better than any other role, job, or activity we are involved in? Shouldn’t everything else in our lives, the way we live our lives, stem from our Christianity? Why are we fearful of saying straight out, I’m a Christian?
I used to be nervous about sharing overtly Christian things about myself. Then one day, I was in a group of people, listening to them talk about getting drunk the night before, their promiscuous behavior and using offensive language. They were talking about who they were, why couldn’t I? It was then and there I decided to no longer hide my faith. Since then, when I’m asked what I did last night, if I went to church and taught a Bible study, that’s what I tell them. When asked what I’m working on, I tell them a book about living life as a Christian woman with passion.
A Christian, that’s who I am, and I will no longer hide it like it’s something to be ashamed of. What’s funny is, I’ve found that most people respect my answers and actually want to know more. Doors have been opened because I no longer compartmentalize my Christianity from the rest of my life – there is no “rest of my life”, my faith is what defines me. Jesus said in Luke 9:26 that if I am ashamed of him and his words, he will be ashamed of me when he comes in his glory. I refuse to be ashamed; I refuse to hide who I am. What about you?