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Don’t Compartmentalize Your Christianity

presence of Jesus

The next time you’re standing in your kitchen, bedroom, or at your desk, I want you to look at drawers. Yes, drawers. The place where you store cutlery, clothes, or staplers and pens.

Sadly, many people who call themselves Christians live functionally compartmentalized lives. Whether they realize it or not, they have divided their lives neatly into two drawers: real life and spiritual life.

The real-life drawer is the one they dig into frequently and are most comfortable with. It contains all the stuff of everyday life, like their job, physical health, friends and family, leisure, money, possessions, and daily routine.

This drawer dominates their thinking and their doing. It’s where they expend most of their emotional and physical energy, and where most dreams will be realized or dashed. The contents of this drawer are the location of their highs and lows, their joys and sorrows.

Then they have a second drawer—the spiritual life drawer. All the “God” stuff goes here. It’s the drawer for Sunday worship, small group, tithes and offerings, short-term missions trips, and the evangelistic conversations with neighbors or extended family members.

Yes, they believe in Jesus, his forgiveness, and the eternity to come, but these beliefs don’t have a radical impact on the way they think about themselves and life in general. Their faith is an aspect of their life, but not something that shapes everything in their life

I think I am describing many Christians. Could I potentially be representing you?

I wish Paul Tripp could claim innocence from this two-drawer verdict, but I can’t.

Ask yourself: on any given day, what most influences the way that I think about myself and my life? What is the driving factor for the majority of what I think, say, and do?

The biblical narrative and worldview only has one drawer—it’s called the gospel in everyday life. Everything goes in that drawer! Scripture asserts that you were bought with a price (the life and death of Jesus), so you don’t belong to you anymore. (Actually, because of creation, you never did belong to you!)

God has a radical, single-drawer purpose for your life. The best word for that purpose is ambassador (see 2 Corinthians 5:20). The only thing an ambassador does is represent the ruler who sent them—every day, all the time, in everything you do.

Presence of Jesus

Therefore, your purpose in life is to make the invisible presence of Jesus visible in the lives of others. You are the look on Christ’s face. You are the tone of his voice. You are the touch of his hands. You are the physical representation of his grace.

This is your mission in every situation, location, and relationship of your life—to make the grace of the invisible King visible.

When, by God’s grace, you live an as ambassador, compartmentalized Christianity and two-drawer living become impossible!

Ask God for that grace once more today, and again and again every day for the rest of your life!


1. In what ways have you compartmentalized your Christian faith? What are some of the “items” that are exclusive to the real-life drawer and spiritual life drawer?

2. Yesterday, what most influenced the way that you thought about yourself and your life?

3. Today, what will be the driving factor for the majority of what you think, say, and do?

4. This week, where is God calling you to be an ambassador in a particularly difficult or intimidating situation or relationship?

5. How can you practically make the invisible presence of Jesus visible that area? Be specific in how you prepare regarding the way you interact and speak.

This article originally appeared here.

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Paul David Tripp is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and works to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life. This vision has led Paul to write many books on Christian living and travel around the world speaking and teaching. Paul's driving passion is to help people understand how the gospel of Jesus Christ speaks with practical hope into all the things people face in this broken world. Paul and his wife Luella reside Philadelphia. They are the parents of four grown children.