Of the world

So, I’ve had this thought going round in my head for the last few days and I wasn’t really sure how to verbalize it exactly, or if it really even made sense, but here goes.

I hear Christian’s talk about being of the world, and I see bible verses like:

1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

I always thought that I was doing a pretty good job as a new Christian, trying to not be “of the world”. I thought it was all about not loving money and possessions. I thought I was doing well so long as I didn’t put things like new cars or the latest gadget or video game, over things like prayer and spending time with God. Then the other day I realized that it was so much more than that.

This might not be a revelation to some of you, but to me it changed my perspective on the way I live my life. It isn’t just about wanting things, and being materialistic. Loving the world, and letting worldly things come before God, is about everything we do.

When I get mad at people in traffic, I am taking on a worldly mindset rather than a God perspective. I am mad because I put myself and whatever I am doing, before everything else. I’m upset because my time is more valuable. I am forgetting the love of God and the love of people and putting my needs/desires first. This is a worldly action.

When I get mad at my wife, I am acting “of the world” because my selfishness is taking precedence over the needs of my wife and the vows I made to her before God.

When I get upset with my job, or when I get down and depressed, I am acting in a worldly way, because I am pulling away from God, away from gratitude and away from His love, and replacing that with worldly pursuits – with frustration or desire or anger or any number of reactions that come from the world.

I am a broken, fragile and sinful man. Jesus loves me in spite of this. But I need to remember, we all need to remember, the world and the temptations within it are often subtle and hidden behind the justifications that we have been sold. Society tells us what we deserve. Society tells us we come first. The world tells us that what we want and need is the most important thing, and that we should and can attain it. What the world doesn’t tell you is that it is futile to pursue the shallow things of the world because they will never fulfill you.

I am a Christian, but I am also guilty of being of the world. All I can do is strive each day, pray each day, and take a step each day, away from the things of this world, and toward a God who loves, a God who mends and a God who saves even broken people like me.

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