I just finished a gem of a book entitled, “Stop Loving the World” by William Greenhill. It was a freebie in my welcome bag at the Desiring God conference in 2011. The book is a sermon that was preached by Greenhill, a Puritan, originally titled “Being against the Love of the World” and has been published by Reformation Heritage Books.
Worldliness is a word out of fashion in most Christian circles today. The Scriptures are clear that God’s people need to leave worldliness and pursue godliness. One definition of Worldliness is to have the same attitude and desires as unbelievers. Defining it by the clothes or hair style one wears is simplistic and doesn’t demand a true heart change.
After reading the book I challenged myself to see what areas I could surrender to greater godliness. Taking inventory can be rigorous and demanding leaving you blood soaked in its wake but it is necessary for Christian growth.
- Greed – whether demanding entitlements by the disenfranchised or the suctioning power of corporations greed is a serious worldly attitude in America. We seem to be programmed to get, get, get. We shop and purchase because we have the ability and means. Early Saturday morning garage sales, gambling, television shopping networks can be areas that challenge our godliness.
- Fear – as believers we are not to fear the world or anything in the world. What we are to fear is God Almighty. A worldly attitude pressures us to fear political parties, global warming, other faiths, other races, the future of the world-wide economy, etc. The believer’s faith is in the deliverer Jesus Christ and there is nothing to fear. Our purpose is to glorify God in all things.
- Pride – pride is the daily assault to dethrone God from our lives. It manifests itself in anger, feelings of superiority, passing judgment on others, and being critical. I can never know more than the One who has created me therefore I am subject to Him and to Him alone. Pride seeks to have me take the place rightfully belonging to Christ. I can do nothing apart from Him.
I really want that. “That” needs to become “Him.”