I have never really been one who tries to “keep up with the Joneses” per se. But, I know what I like, have some dreams about what I want (at some point) and working a plan to get there some day if the Lord is willing and it’s what’s best for my family, etc. Besides my “day job”, my wife and I have a business we run out of our home. There are guidelines, rules and even laws that govern our business and we try to be very diligent in running our business accordingly. There are those in our industry and even through our parent company who do not … and seemingly prosper at it. At times, it can get frustrating; I sometimes get frustrated with “always doing the right thing”! I have seen the above logo over the last 5-10 years and think it is even a clothing line? I love the concept and it got me thinking about being worldly vs. spiritual. I also think it would make a pretty cool tattoo, but that is a different conversation! So, what is it to be “worldly” and/or “spiritual”? There is no question that one should be spiritually minded and not worldly minded. But, have you ever been around someone who is “so spiritually minded that they are of no earthly good?” (I love that saying)
The Christian who is “worldly” is the one who is devoted to or engrossed in worldly interests rather than in things relating to Christ and His kingdom. The King James Version of the Bible refers to the worldly person as being “carnal,” a word which literally means “fleshly.” More recent translations use terms such as “unspiritual,” “sinful,” or “of the world.”
The worldly Christian is not concerned about those things “that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Rather, he or she is characterized by spiritual indifference, instability, and lack of discipline. He or she is contaminated (James 1:26) and rebellious against God (James 4:4). He or she is a “friend of the world” (James 4:4) and a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God (2 Timothy 3:4).
The worldly Christian takes a halfhearted stand for that which pertains to the kingdom of God; therefore, he or she easily falls victim to almost any temptation or false teaching that comes along. He or she gives “lip service” to a form of doctrine, but ignores any real substance: “From such people turn away!” advises Paul (2 Timothy 3:5).
The spiritually minded Christian, on the other hand, is one who:
* “Will seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33)
* Takes a stand against the “spirit of this age” in order to establish an identity with the family of God
* Enjoys a certain perception and spiritual discernment which comes from prayer and from walking in the Spirit (Philippians 1:9-11)
* Seeks and experiences constant renewal at the foot of the cross (1 John 1:9; 2:1)
* Desires to be “filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11)
* Knows that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6)
Billy Graham comments: “The Bible teaches that we are to live in this world, but we are not to partake of the evils of the world. We are to be separated from the world of evil.
When I face something in the world, I ask: ‘Does it violate any principle of Scripture? Does it take the keen edge off my Christian life? Can I ask God’s blessing on it? Will it be a stumbling block to others? Would I like to be there, or reading that, or be watching that, if Christ should return at that time?’ Worldliness doesn’t fall like an avalanche upon a person and sweep him or her away. It is the steady drip, drip, drip of the water that wears away the stone. The world is exerting a steady pressure on us every day. Most of us would go down under it, if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit who lives inside us,and holds us up, and keeps us.”
Father, I pray that as we currently have to live in this fallen world that you would help us by your Holy Spirit not be “of the world”! Help us to live in a manner that others would see you and not us! Help us be ever conscious of living our lives so that we would not make another stumble and that all we do would bring glory and honor to your name!
(Disclaimer: Part of today’s blog is taken from a Billy Graham devotional.)