The young man came to interview me last Thursday night on my beliefs about worldliness, and as you know, uneasiness settled over me.
I figured out the problem: My ideas were all over the place. I had a pile of good scriptures, but I hadn't organized my thoughts and what I believe.
I kept working on it, studying the Word, and praying. Then it all came together.
Worldliness is our attitude about life.
1. WHAT WE DO WITH OUR TIME
For example, would we rather be in God's house than a sports stadium?
2. WHAT WE DO WITH OUR MONEY
If we are not worldly, we will give joyfully God's 10 percent and perhaps more.
3. WHAT WE DO WITH OUR TALENTS
if we are not worldly, we will spend at least some time in ministry and take advantage of opportunities to witness.
Our motivation in what we do is behind worldliness. If we love God with all our soul, mind and strength, obey His Word and love others, it changes what we do and our attitudes toward it.
The Christian life is serving God, walking after the Spirit instead of our flesh (Romans 8:1KJ). Our primary motivation won't be seeking after acceptance and admiration of others.
With TIME, our attitude changes so we'd rather be in God's house than in a sports stadium. Not that there is anything wrong with sports. I'm a fan myself. But Jesus needs to be first. We gain faith by "hearing" the Word, and we need fellowship with believers. We need the intimate worship experience that comes only in God's presence where two or three are together and He is in the midst of them.
No matter what the activity is, if we put it before the Lord, it's worldly. It could be as simple as a farmer who won't take Sunday off because he wants a great crop. If we honor God first, usually He supplies our needs.
With MONEY, if our attitude about it goes haywire, it's worldly. If we are consumed by saving it to the suffering of our family, our attitude is wrong. If we spend it so freely we have so much debt it affects our marriage and witness, we are worldly.
With TALENTS, if we are consumed with desire to be admired or we seek acceptance excessively, we are worldly.
I'm often amazed at how decisions affect us spiritually. Who we are depends on our daily decisions. Our character is impacted by our affections--what we feel is important--and so is our relationship with God.
Walking after the Spirit instead of the flesh helps us bring our affections into the right place where God can bless us and use us for His glory. This is where we find contentment.
When our desires and motivations are right, we don't have a problem with worldliness.
If you're interested, the interview went well.