You don't have a private life

Yesterday I completed the dreaded staff survey. Question 2,563 read as follows:

“Does your professional life interfere with your private life?”

The question was asking about my work-life balance. And that’s a good question. But according to the Bible I don’t actually have a ‘private life.’

Private Sin

Separating our private life from our work-life sounds very similar to that old holiday motto: ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’

We’re prone to thinking that what happens at home stays at home. That it doesn’t affect my work or my colleagues or my attitude. That so long as nobody finds out, it’s not hurting them.

But the Bible speaks in a very different way.

Public Sin

“Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6)

The apostle’s asking: Don’t you know that your sin affects the whole church? No sin is private.

Don’t you know that the porn affects how you relate to women? Don’t you know that your argumentative spirit began in the privacy of your home?

Don’t you know that your gambling addiction has made you greedy? For power at church, for status on the internet, for money at work.

Making the Private Public

The Bible actually asks the question the other way round – ‘Does your private life interfere with your professional life?’

If we’re caught up in private sin, the answer must be ‘yes’. Those in your church and your workplace will bear the cost in some way. Because your relationship with God and your sin are not private issues.  

This is why the Bible calls us to make our private lives public, confessing our sin to one another (James 5:16) and living our lives as much as possible in full-view of our brothers and sisters (1 Thessalonians 2:8).