Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Being 'IN' the World and Not 'OF' It
I came across this quote in someones response on Sarah Mae's blog Stretching Into Blue
"There is one thing worse than failing before men and that is being successful in things that don't matter to God"
The above quote stuck out to me. How many times I have added too many things to the plate in an effort to 'please man' without consulting my heavenly Father? Far too many to count. It's not out of malevolence that I've acquired too much on my to-do list. I really do feel led to try and serve, learn, teach, etc. all in the name of God. But do I consult God first? . . . . Um, not as often as I should. The second I seek to accomplish what I think it His will without actually bringing Him along for the ride is basically a recipe for true failure. I've replace God with my own pride. Seeking accomplishment of the world and acceptance of others. Seeking to be a part of the 'group'. Being OF this world and not simply living IN it.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
1 Corinthians 7:31
Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.
Lord forgive me, because if I struggle with this so much - how am I ever going to be the role model to teach this to my children? So much of the pleasures/desires of this world call to them. . . . materials, status, money, belonging to the crowd, outward appearance, latest fashion/music/trend, etc. How can I teach them to quiet that inner voice calling them to move ahead without taking God with them? How can I better discern and weed out the negative influences that aim to steal their heart and taint their spirit?
What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.
Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.
It is a delicate balance. Understand that I don't want to take everything away in an overly legalistic way. How would they ever be able to cope, persevere, stand firm if they're never tested by the sins of this world? How can they reflect on their own sin if I put them in a bubble, overly protecting them from what's truly out there? They cannot learn love and mercy if they are never tested with the grave reality of sin - theirs and of others.
1 Corinthians 5:10
But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.
Then on the other end of the scale, I don't want to overindulge - allowing them to be supersaturated in what 'everyone else' is doing. Akin to leaving my children to the 'wolves'. . . . fend for themselves and pray that God helps them work it out. No, my job as their parent is to strike that balance in between. It's that balance that I'm also trying to learn for myself. . . . . .
Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
. . . . . thoughts to be continued. . . .
***Linked to: Women Living Well