Before you carry on reading this post, I want you to stop and answer this question to yourself.
‘What does worldliness mean?’
If you don’t mind, i’d love to read the definitions that came to mind in the comment section, even after you finish reading this post.
A lot of us have got worldliness twisted. We’ve reduced it to mean a particular way a person looks, speaks, acts and even dresses. We’ve attached it to mere actions and words and we’ve said that it can be identified in a person at a glance.
Let’s backtrack to your definition of worldliness. Was it a bit vague? was it affiliated to dressing or action? was it affiliated to money, wealth or riches?
My immediate guess would be a yes, and that’s okay.
But lets all re-arrange our mindsets now about what worldliness is. Lets understand that it starts from the mind first even before it begins to manifest in our actions and words, lets agree that while we think we can ‘see’ worldliness in a person, it really is something from the inside and cannot be accurately judged at mere glances.
Worldliness in a just a line, is to believe, trust, exalt or acknowledge the world system above God, Jesus.
John Piper also gave this short and powerful definition; ‘resisting the seduction of a fallen world’
The world system is anything that pleases, glorifies and appeals to our flesh alone without glorifying God in some way. Thoughts of things that are dimmed ‘random’ might come to mind, like going to school, like exercising your body, like even eating food daily, how are these things glorifying God?
I won’t go round in circles trying to defend how I think each glorify God or don’t, but either of those things can easily become sin if not done according to the way God wills us to.
Exercising, hunger for knowledge and feeding can quickly become objects of idol worship, so really what I’m saying is that everything in existence in this world has the potential to be sin in the heart or eyes of man (Me and You).
Forget the Sunday school teachers who identified someone as worldly for how they spoke or looked, these things are only the fruits and while they may be valid, majority of christians are walking around carrying the seeds in their hearts. It is only a matter of time before they begin to manifest and produce fruits like the ones that are judged and frowned upon.
When we think of ourselves first, it is worldliness, we’re exalting our ‘self’ above others and sometimes above God.
When we think of doing certain things or going certain places for fame or popularity, it is worldliness. We’re craving the attention of the world and it’s accolades.
PS. there is absolutely nothing wrong with fame and popularity, Jesus had ’em both! The problem comes when we go out of our way, values and the Spirit just to get them, which is where the society we live in brings us to.
When we attribute the workings of Grace to our own works, we are kings and queens of worldliness.
When the motives behind our goals and visions do not in the end glorify God, Brother, Sister, it is worldliness.
And so many other things that don’t really manifest on the outside for people to see.
I think it is time for us to start looking inwardly as people and forget about the surface we see. The heart is what our God looks at, let’s work on that with Him first before moving to the container.
God won’t reward us for hiding our worldliness better than others.
Let’s take a challenge and confront every iota of worldliness in our hearts. It is not something that we can do by ourselves, so please don’t even attempt to. The Holy Spirit is there, always ready and willing to help.
Picture from: http://www.wonderfullymadeblog.org/?cat=3