John White, in his book, Flirting With the World, says,
“Two questions have been uppermost in my mind. The first is: How can we live in the world without being part of it? The second is: How can we, and ought we, to differ from the world?”
He continues, “I see two major reasons for our worldliness: The absence of biblical preaching; and the inappropriateness of size as a criterion of success in church organizations. We are of the world and like the world when we share the world’s values by making physical pleasure too important, and above all, by our desire to surpass others and make them admire us. There is nothing wrong with pleasure or possessions, but there is something wrong with clinging to them. We are like the world when we compete in the race for nicer homes and more fashionable clothes. We are of the world when, as Christian organizations, we adopt the world’s philosophies and promotional techniques simply to be bigger and better.
“How can we prevent or avoid personal worldliness in the first place? On the individual level, we must repent. Before God, we must ask His Spirit to search our hearts.
“We must pray as in Psalm 139: 23-24: ‘Search me, O, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
“We are obsessed with the easy how-tos of success. But changes that are not rooted in repentance and prayer will be shallow and temporary at best. God cannot work with us the way He wishes unless we take the time to wait in silence upon Him. First, He needs to bring our hearts to the point where we begin to share His viewpoint. Then we must persist in following after Him. We will be different from the world as we begin to pray, “Lord, tell me where I grieve You. Make Heaven real to me. Help me to teach my children by my attitude to possessions that this world’s riches mean nothing. Teach me to eat, to drink, to sleep and to love thankfully and with gratitude to You.”
When we live with less worldliness, we experience so much more of God’s joy!
And that’s Good News You Can Use!