Worldly Living ~ What Is It?

How necessary is it to have disciplined instruction when it comes to teaching our children about God? I mean, isn't it enough to simply walk through life and learn as we go? All of life is a classroom, right? Certainly we can raise our children by teaching them through circumstances that naturally arise. Wrong.

Living in the world without being a part of it is not easy. There is a delicate balance between loving others and being careful not to fall into the same traps people of the world fall into. We want to accept people but we don't want to accept worldly living into our own lives.

In the coming weeks I'm going to share some different aspects of worldly living. Today, I'd like to define it.

What exactly is worldly living?

Avoiding worldly living is more than fleeing the things that are obvious "evils". Abstaining from drugs, drunkenness, and sexual immorality are these more obvious "evils". But worldly living goes much deeper than that. It includes being dependent upon and satisfied by the things in this world that offer temporary pleasures. Not solely substances or sex.

It includes those things that can distract us from any aspect of God. The list is really endless: material possessions, music, television, electronic devices, people, entertainment, a career, status/reputation, politics, food, money/security, worldly wisdom, sports, talents, comfort. 

When we live for these things, we are [living] of the world. They are not bad until they replace God's position in your life.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Our flesh (or human nature) craves the things of this world. Have you ever had a craving for something  before? A certain food {especially while pregnant}, a cigarette, a drug, alcohol? Could be past or present. The point is, did you notice the power behind that craving? You couldn't rest until you fulfilled it. You may have even become quite cranky if you couldn't have it. Or stopped at nothing until you were satisfied.

How do you handle a craving so it no longer torments you?

You starve it.

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26

As Roman 12:2 {above} states, we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are to be transformed from the adaptation or settling in of this world by giving our minds an overhaul. In other words, we need to change our thinking.

On the onset, something may not be inherently "bad". The problem comes when we begin to get comfortable and rely on the things of this world because they satisfy our flesh -- when we do this, we neglect our soul. We are giving to our flesh what it desires rather than feeding our soul what it needs.

Am I saying we should never do anything to have "fun" or enjoy some of the gifts God has given us that are good?

Not at all. God admits He gives good gifts to His children. He loves us and wants to bless us!

What the Bible talks about is being dependent on these gifts to bring joy or fulfillment. Allowing ourselves to overindulge is when it becomes dangerous ground, because this type of satisfaction is never satisfying.

Ironic, isn't it?

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

So what does worldly living have to do with training our children in disciplined instruction?

Everything.

The lusts of the world easily entangle us and our children. We need to be sure we are reading God's word and teaching it regularly. As mothers {parents} we want to be proactive, not reactive. We want to anticipate issues before they become issues.

We won't always nail every issue before it's an issue, but giving disciplined instruction to our children {and being disciplined in the Word ourselves} can help prevent a lot of bad consequences as well as keep our lives focused on Christ. Linked with ...

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