Do you enjoy standing in line? What do you think about while waiting? In this life, do you think we are all just standing in line called the world, waiting for something to happen? Have you ever been accused of being “worldly”? It is a term most Christians use but don’t take time to know what the definition truly means. What does it mean to be worldly? Devoted to this world, temporal things and its pursuits rather than to spiritual affairs is a start. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity” (Romans 12:2).
The world stamps an individual with its own shape or mold. “Worldly”-oriented persons talk, react, have interests, attitudes, priorities, values, habit patterns, and standards that identify them as being of the “world” (1 John 2:15). The believer is not to be pressed into the mold of the world. He is not to be like everyone else, he is to be different; he is to be like Jesus Christ. Romans 12:2 says the believer is to be transformed or changed. In the Greek, the word “transformed” the change coming from his inner self. They are to be different. The believer is to be separated from the world and different not only because he does not do certain things, but because he does glorify or reveal God in his reactions and life style.
Jesus wants us to follow Him and Him only. He wants us to trust Him only. He wants us to know the meaning of self sacrifice and giving to others for the Kingdom sake. Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me.” There is no profit to gain in the whole world if you lose eternal life because nothing can be compared. There is nothing worth exchanging your soul for. What are the characteristics of worldliness? Worry, spending time thinking about what will tomorrow bring, earthly things, which have no eternal value. Colossians 3:2-5 Away with sinful things, deaden the evil desires lurking within you and have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust and shameful desires, don’t worship the good things of life which is idolatry. Cast off anger, hatred, cursing and foul language. Our hearts have also a big impact if there is worldliness in them. Luke 21:34 Take heed, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with excess and drunkenness (under the influence) and cares of this life. Out of our heart will come our behavior and attitude, fruits and works prove whom we really are. We should not be overpowered by temptations, nor betrayed by your own corruptions. We cannot be safe, if we are carnally secure. This is why it is important to be renewed daily and be filled with His Spirit to lead and direct us without worry.
The effects of this worldliness first of all it destroys truth. Matthew 13:22 He who received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and he becomes unfruitful. Disobedience to the word of God is another product of being part of the world in attitude. Before salvation, we walked according to the flesh. Before Christ we went along with the crowd, just like everyone else. Doing things that were against the Lord, every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us to. Ephesians 2:2 We were children of disobedience because we walked according to the course of this world. The third characteristic of being worldly is committing popular sins and doing what unbelievers do. Exodus 23:2 Don’t follow those to do evil. Deuteronomy 12:30 Don’t be snared and follow their example. Don’t worship other gods all in the name of religion. Don’t add or take away from the Word of God.
Last but not least James 4:4, Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James goes on to instruct us to submit and draw close to God. To wash our hands of sinning and be filled with purity. We are to be humble and not think we are better than anyone else, doing what is right and keeping our tongue under control. Fighting among brethren, longing to have what others have, wrong motives or lashing out at people to please your heart’s motives. When Jesus tells us to be separate from the world, He wasn’t speaking about being in their presence or looking like them but we are to be separate in attitude and evil actions of worldliness. Jesus Himself ate with sinners however He didn’t commit the sin. He ate the same food, dressed the same as everyone in His culture, He taught from the same Bible yet stayed pure in His mind, thought, attitude and actions toward others and expects His followers to do the same.
Fear and greed control many people and they lash out. The “religious” people who are caught up with religion are those who point their finger, judge and condemn and they themselves find it hard to hold to the law. The “Pontius Pilates” of this world are those who don’t want to get involved in any work, no self-sacrificing, just sit and look great. Within this group of people, which many strive to be Christians, their actions prove there are struggles to rid themselves of the “world”. Traditions may seem good with strong devotion, maybe humiliating and hard but have no effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires which only concludes of being proud.
What is the opposite of being worldly? Continue to learn more and more of what is right, trying to be more like Christ who created this new life within us. It doesn’t matter what race, education or social position we hold for the mean nothing. What matters is that we show love, practice tenderhearted, mercy and kindness to others. We should be gentle and ready to forgive, never hold grudges. We should be in harmony with others, be peaceful and thankful. Have a Christian home with the father leading the wife supporting, the children obeying. Work hard and cheerfully just as you were working for the Lord and God will reward you. We are to continue in the faith, walk in faith with thanksgiving. Let us be warned of those who try to destroy our faith and joy along with their own teachings instead of the Bible. We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of His mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, and all we can do. Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind; a change, not of the substance, but of the qualities of the soul. The progress of sanctification, dying to sin more and more, and living to righteousness more and more, is the carrying on this renewing work, till it is perfected in glory. The great enemy to this renewal is, conformity to this world. Take heed of forming plans for happiness, as though it lay in the things of this world, which soon pass away. Do not fall in with the customs of those who walk in the lusts of the flesh, and mind earthly things, “worldly things”. The work of the Holy Ghost first begins in the understanding, and is carried on to the will, affections, and conversation, till there is a change of the whole man into the likeness of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. Thus, to be godly, is to give up ourselves to God and think only upon Him and His Kingdom, the eternal in mind. So, if you find yourself in line or on the conveyer belt of the world, get off of it and rise above “worldliness” and reach into the spirit, walk into the spirit and live in the spirit.