It’s All About Love
Congrats to “J Rae” winner of the 4th of 5 copies of Worldliness by C.J. Mahaney. I’m giving away one last copy of the book today. Keep reading for details.
One of the fears I had going into this discussion about Worldliness is that it would come off sounding very anti – anti-media, anti-secular-music, anti-stuff, anti-women. Plus it could easily be misinterpreted as legalistic, judgmental, or isolationist. One of the things that’s most concerning to me is that Christians are known more for what they’re against than for what they are for, and I didn’t want this conversation to reinforce that stereotype.
Neither did C.J. Mahaney when he wrote Worldliness as he wrapped it up with a final chapter called How to Love the World. In it he mentions 3 ways to love the world, I’ve added a 4th that is weaved throughout the book and should motivate all our thinking about how we engage the world.
4 Ways to Love the World
1) Love creation – God created an mind-blowing universe and gave us an amazing little place in it called Earth. Scripture tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of the Lord.” From the grandeur of the mountains and the great oceans to the diversity and intricacies of all the little creatures in the rain forests, there’s enough beauty in this world to fill a thousand lifetimes.
2) Love work – We have a working God. He is restoring and reconciling this entire world unto himself. We have been created in his image to be workers. He’s given each of us a vocation. He’s also given us the responsibilities to take care of the earth, our families, and the people around us. This work is not be resented as a burden but to be appreciated. It’s our mission. It’s our opportunity to be a part of the work God is doing.
3) Love people – There’s a great temptation to view people who are caught up in worldliness or promoting worldliness as the enemy. They’re not. God loves everyone, including the gansta rapper, the porn star, the marketing executive who’s trying to get you to want stuff you don’t need, and girl (or guy) who dresses provocatively to get your attention. We should too. Really. We need to love them enough to share the gospel with them. But we also need to be willing to love and serve them without the hidden agenda of trying to get them to change.
4) Love God – Throughout this series we talked about how media, music, materialism, and immodesty can pull us away from God. However, reacting wrongly to those dangers can be just as harmful. Don’t let fear or a sense of obligation lead you to erect legalistic rules, become judgmental, or isolate yourself from the world. The motivation to avoid worldliness should come from a love for God. The more we focus on God and love God, the less we want the things this world has to offer.
Do you love creation, work, and people – even those who promote worldliness?
Is your desire to avoid worldliness motivated by fear or love for God?
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