Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not of This World


Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The world is rife with temptations everywhere we turn. Commercials bombard us from our televisions, radios, newspapers, magazines, and internet, enticing us to purchase everything from the latest model mini-van to the slinky new fashions, from extravagant vacations to that wrinkle cream guaranteed to take twenty years off our faces. They beguile us into believing that, without these products or services, we are incomplete persons who will not experience fulfillment until we've made these all-important purchases. Sadly, there are many who fall for and into this trap, madly and relentlessly chasing anything material they hope will make others view them as popular, successful, suave, and in-the-know.

If that in itself is not reason for concern, there are deeper, more insidious implications for those mesmerized by the world's patterns. Those who cannot afford such luxuries or as many as they see enjoyed by their neighbors develop what I call the "not enough" syndrome: I'm not rich enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not young enough, not good enough, not, not, not, not, not! Their self-worth crumbles before their eyes as they wallow in self-pity and envy of others.

The only "not" that Christians should be concerned for is the "not" in "not of this world". Jesus told us to place our treasures in things eternal, not temporal. When we are tried and tempted by earthly cravings, we need to stop, drop, and pray to know God's will for us. We need to temper our minds and hearts with daily Bible study and gain strength and wisdom from the scripture. We must remember that, as God's children, we will always be precious and worthy in His sight. And, if that's "not enough", I don't know what is!

Readings
Psalms 63:1-8 (9-11) or 103
1 Samuel 23:7-18
Romans 11:33-12:2
Matthew 25:14-30

2 comments:

  1. Romans 12:2 has always been a favorite of mine. I memorized it in the context of a song we learned in high school chorus. And these words certainly didn’t return to God void but ended up transforming my life in every sense of the word.

    Commercials indeed lead us into a focus on the external, tempting us to seek superficial glory. But other worldly pursuits are equally odious in God’s eyes. Our value systems, for example: wealth, prestige, power, status… It isn’t just what possessions we own or how much we earn, but how ‘educated’ we are… educated in the ways of the world, educated to become worldlier. This is what “of the world” means to me: our world view. What matters? Deep, thought provoking post Martha.

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  2. I love your insights, Debra! You are so right - it isn't just possessions, but our attitudes, our value systems, that can separate us from the love of God.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

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