Why do we keep Jesus in the closet?

Closed Closet Doors in Home

You know what I am talking about; you come home from church, take off your church clothes and hang them in the closet.  Just before you close the door, you stuff Jesus in the corner right next to your smelly golf shoes, and you leave him there until next Sunday. I know this happens, because for years that is exactly what we did.

I’m not sure how Sunday morning goes at your house when it is time to leave for church, but I can tell you at the Swan house, there is usually a lot of arguing and yelling. I think some of the biggest arguments happen on the way to church.

I remember one Sunday morning; we were about half way to church. The kids were acting up, I was yelling like a lunatic, and that is when I realized, we had left Jesus at home in the closet.

It should have been obvious he wasn’t with us, because I certainly would never behave that way in front of Jesus or at least that is what I wanted to believe. The truth is I do act that way in front of him and you probably do, too.

Remember that time when you flipped off that guy on the freeway?  He saw that.  Or the time when you were bad and spreading gossip about a co-worker?  He saw that, too. What about the time when the cashier gave you too much change and you decided to keep it?  Yup, He was there.

I never really put much thought into Jesus being at my side every day until last year. I was attending a business conference that required me to stay out-of-town.   After dinner, I was just sitting in my room relaxing. I started thinking how great it would have been if I had brought a friend with me.  No kids, just the two of us catching up on the past and talking about the future.

All of a sudden it was as if Jesus was saying, “Tom I am right here on the end of the couch, don’t you see me?”  I was shocked.  I did not know he was attending the conference too.  I did not see his name on the guest list.

We had a great time that night. We sat on that couch for hours just talking about life.  My life to be specific.

The next morning, we had breakfast and I went on to the conference. Not really sure what He did.  He probably had stuff to do.

The drive home

As I drove home that night, I did a lot of thinking.  One of the things that came to mind was how I acted as a teenager.  When I was with my friends, I was different from when I was with my parents.

My parents weren’t super strict, but there were just some things you didn’t want mom and dad to know about. I suppose it is that way with Jesus.  There are just some things that I don’t want him to know about.

That ride home-made me realize that I had a lot of work to do in my life. What if Jesus was actually riding next to me in the passenger seat?  Would I change the radio station? Would I speed?

What about giving other drivers a piece of my mind when they upset me? What if Jesus was with me all the time?  Would I still go to the bar and have a few drinks?  Would I yell obscenities to the refs on the TV during the game?

For about a week after that conference, I was very conscious about his presence in my life. As the weeks went by life slowly crept in and it was not long and I was back to my normal self.  Not that my normal self is a bad person, but I had stopped paying such close attention to my actions.

I have been a Christian for many years, but it was not always a full-time thing for me, it was more like a part-time thing. Go to church on Sunday and read the Bible when everything else failed and pray when I was overwhelmed.

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this article that it hit me.  Like many other areas of my life,  I have made a commitment to live with a greater focus, and I need to live intentionally when it comes to my relationship with Christ.

I want to encourage you to be intentional, too.  If you’re part time, go full-time.  If you are full-time, take on some Spiritual overtime.  You’ll be glad you did.

What is one thing that you would stop doing if Jesus was with you in the flesh every day?


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