I am a lay person. I have taken marriage vows that are between God and my spouse and myself. But I have not vowed to be poor, or to spend each day in certain devotions, or to follow the commands of my religious superior. I am a lay person.
As a lay person I can own property, plan my own time, and agree with my husband about the amount of time and money we give to the church, the poor, and the needy of this world. We listen to the call of God in that. I go for spiritual direction to help me to make those decisions. I do prayer and spiritual reading to help me make those decisions. I use the discernment that God gave me to help with all of that.
I make mistakes, and I sin. Sometimes I keep too much for me, neglect my daily prayers, don't spread the love around as much as I am called to do. I am a sinner, even though I would like not to be one. I am human.
I am a secular Christian, a lay person. I have discovered there is release and joy in detaching from the things of this world, from developing a closer relationship with God. But, giving is different than someone taking, and offering is different than being forced to give. I am a secular Christian. I owe God everything. I owe nothing to this world.