"Symptoms of Worldliness?"
Titus Two Section

Subject : Symptoms of Worldliness?
Posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

In the book, Raising Kids Who Hunger for God, authors Benny and Sheree Phillips [chfweb.com note: You can buy this book through Our Favorite Books Bookstore's. *Order Now!*] share some questions that they asked themselves when they began to see symptoms of "worldliness" in their lives. Here is their simple definition of worldliness:

"the process of taking on the values, beliefs and priorities of a society that has rejected God."


Aren't these good questions? I realize that many of us have already asked ourselves similar questions and sought the Lord as we made the decision to follow His ways in discipling and nurturing our children. We have taken time to share our reasoning with our children so they will understand why our family holds some of our convictions. Do you agree with the Phillips' definition of worldliness?

How many of our values, beliefs, and priorities have actually been taken on from society without our even realizing it? William and I have sought to always examine things in light of the Word of God and not just traditions of the church or our society. Praise God for His Word and His Holy Spirit! Some things we were taught from the time we became Christians and we had reason to reexamine them to see --is this REALLY what the Word teaches regarding this issue? Sometimes after study and prayer we came away believing it was, sometimes not.

As Christians, we want to influence the world by sharing God's ways instead of having the world's ways influence us. His ways will never fail, His truths will always prevail, and whether we follow Him or not has ETERNAL consequences!

Sometimes "worldliness" in Christians' lives is the result of poor Bible teaching and unbelief. Many Christians have denied the power of the Living God and have lower expectations of what He actually will do for us and in us if we will just trust Him. It's like when God cried out to Israel and said-- I longed to do this and I would have done all of that...if you had just turned to Me and trusted Me instead of going your own way.

When we allow Him to work within our lives, we won't automatically react to situations and "irritants" just like the world does. We won't seek the same solutions as the world always. Our "peculiarity" should shine forth!

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.... Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:9, 11-12)

I pray that we'll all grow more and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He speaks into our lives in various areas....and we have the confidence that as He shows us areas, He gives us the grace to overcome!

Anyone want to share their thoughts on this topic?

In His Abiding Joy and Strength,

Tamara


Subject : Re: Symptoms of Worldliness?
Posted by Debbie on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 10:12 p.m., in response to Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

Dear Tamara,

The kids and I were just talking about this today and why we believe as we do. Yes, we are different from alot of the people that we come into contact with and many of whom are friends, but that's ok! I have asked them who they want to be like, Jesus or "everybody else that's doing ?". They reply that they want to be like Jesus because as Christians we have a joy that the "worldly" people don't. We also tend to love others and forgive others more.

We are pulling our kids out of ps to hs them for this very reason. We already seem strange to some of our neighbors because we don't let our kids run wild, I supervise their activities, we don't watch much tv (and that is carefully screened by my dh and myself), don't allow music in our home that was offend God, and we are teaching the children to respect themselves and others *G*. But the strangest thing of all is -We all enjoy going to church and praising our Lord and Saviour- *G*.

My kids get hassled by other kids, some of who used to be their friends (before these kids started hanging around with other kids who come from very bad home situations) for loving Jesus! Bless my kids hearts though, they stand up for their beliefs and tell these other kids that loving Jesus and believing in God are good things! My kids are quick to point out at home that these kids are getting into trouble at school and with the law and that they don't want to be like that. We sit down and pray for these kids that some day they will come to know the Lord too! It's hard for kids to be different, but when they are grounded in beliefs and love for God, it's amazing how strong they can be!

Debbie G. in WA


Subject : Surely not I???
Posted by BWSmith on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 10:48 p.m., in response to Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

Dear Tamara,

Worldliness: "the process of taking on the values, beliefs and priorities of a society that has rejected God." Do I agree with the Phillips' definition of worldliness, you ask? Hmmmmmm.

Yes and I am shocked again and again to see how EASY it is to spot the habits and responses that come from *me* and not a will bent on pleasing God. If even I can spot the obvious, what will those watching me see?

Certainly poor teaching has been an excuse for worldliness but ignoring my conscience is a more truthful one. So is not believing God is good.

Walking in the shade of my "comfort zone" rather than the heat of passion for Christ is probably a major factor in lapsing into worldly, self-centered thoughts and actions: "Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)

Indulging my comfort zone means weeds in my soul that give me a seedy appearance "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." (Matt 13:22)

Tending my *needs*. . . indulging my appetites for "innocent" pleasures, diminishes my "peculiar" light -- at great risk: "For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt 16:26) My worldliness may bring success -- but only for a season.

Now, when I think about *worldliness* which is such a turn-off word for me I realize all it means is I have chosen to give my heart to: some "thing" other than Christ, who loved me first and gave His life for me: "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." (I Jn 2:15)

And relying on the world for comfort, for self-definition, or gratification instead of serving Christ in this world is the trap I want to avoid today by His grace. But how?

1. Walk in well-LIGHTED paths: Ps 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path."

2. Get rid of dead wood: John 15:1-2 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every {branch} that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.

3. Assess the balance sheets rightly: Isa 33:6 "And He shall be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is his treasure."

4. Love God first and best -- because Jesus tells me to: Luke 10:27 And he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
-- because without God, I can do nothing: Ps 18:1-2 "I love Thee, O LORD, my strength." The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
-- because He always listens to the prayers of my heart. Ps 116:1 I love the LORD, because He hears My voice {and} my supplications.

He created the world, for His pleasure, not for my worship. Thanks for giving me food for thought, dear friend. I pray this day, Wednesday, July 22 will be a day of keeping in step with the Holy Spirit and not frolicking to the world's jig.

BWS


Subject : Two passages I use...
Posted by Melanie - WA on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 11:11 p.m., in response to Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

Thank you, Tamara. This is worth dwelling on a bit. I don't think I have anything profound to add, but there are 2 scripture passages that come to mind when I think of this subject.

"Do not conform any longer 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." Romans 12:2

1. In what ways am I conforming to the world?
2. How can I renew my mind?
3. Do I want to know what God's will is?

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." I Peter 1:13-16

1. How do I prepare my mind for action?
2. Why is self-control so important?
3. What is my hope set on?
4. What evil desires am I conforming to?
5. How can I be holy in all I do when I am a sinner?
6. Holy means being set apart...Am I willing to be different?

These are worth spending some time on!

Blessings,
Melanie


Subject : Re: Symptoms of Worldliness?
Posted by monica on Wednesday, 22 July 1998, at 6:13 a.m., in response to Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

Oooooo! Miz Tamara, How thought provoking! Wow, it is tough to live within social bounds and not be compromising in any way. The line is drawn thin and narrow when I stand for my beliefs and values, often it is not comfortable. My prayer is that the Lord give me the words to say and the proper condition of heart!

I agree that if we are truly following God in our lives our reaction to situations will be very different from the world's. It may mean being shunned, outcast or feeling pinched. Our reaction should, in most cases go against the grain. Discomfort and growth in the Lord go hand in hand. The lessons I have learned from these stirrings in life have been many. I used to complain about this situation and that. Why me Lord? The Lord wanted me to change from within my ol' heart. I cannot go about my life asking whiney little questions of the Lord. I ask now that I be given the wisdom to understand when I speak, the compassion to show love, and the ability to show Christ in my life!--monica :


Subject : Re: Symptoms of Worldliness?
Posted by Kate Megill on Wednesday, 22 July 1998, at 7:07 a.m., in response to Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

Dear Tamara,

Thank you for sharing this! The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I find myself confessing sin (I hope it is because I am getting more sensitive to the Lord and not that I am getting worse and worse as time goes on!)

There are so many hidden areas of our hearts where we don't see the infiltration of the world's focus and its subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) influence in our hearts and minds.

I really see what Paul was saying when he talked about how much easier it was to devote oneself wholeheartedly to the Lord when single, that married people are more concerned with cares of the world. To be able to provide the physical needs for our children on the one side and to fall into worldliness on the other side...a difficult path to walk. I just gets so easy to deceive ourselves (or maybe it's just me!) to think that there is no worldliness in our hearts and even to read something like your post and think, "Oh, I just wish so and so would read this, she is so worldly" but never let the Lord search the depths of our hearts to reveal the sin in our own lives.

Thank you so much, dear, for sharing this. You are always such a challenge and encouragement to me.

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Subject : Re: Symptoms of Worldliness?
Posted by Dorene Bankester on Wednesday, 22 July 1998, at 8:59 a.m., in response to Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

Dear Tamara,
I was so excited to find your website! Thank you for sharing and having a place to share!

It was a blessing to find this article you wrote on worldliness, because yesterday I was faced with two uncomfortable situations that came from out of nowhere, in my own home, and made me feel unsure of myresponses and feelings.

The first situation occured while I was helping a woman,brand new homeschooling, figure out what to order and get things ready for the fall. I had never met her or her children, but she called me in need and I just wanted to help. It seems I am always too busy with my four girls and husband to minister much to others and I thought that this would be a great opportunity to "do the right thing." Well, her children began to get a bit roudy and the older girl was able to get my 2 younger daughters to say something I was horrifed at. Ugh! I told the girls to go to my room and they remained there until our visitors had left. Then we had a long talk about being salt and light and the importance of sharing what's right and not being influenced by what's wrong. I am not sure how to help those in need without this happening again. Is that my job?

The second thing that happened was with a sweet friend of mine who is watching her nephews and niece because their mom was in a very serious car accident. She popped in with these kids plus her own two very sweet boys who we never have problems with and there were comments and laughing that occured by the older boys about some dollies that were without clothes. My little girls had been playing and got distracted and forgot to redress their babies and put them to bed. The part that troubled me was that one of the boys was my friends older son, who would never do this sort of thing without this other influence. At least not that I have seen. My friend wants us to stop over within the next two weeks so my girls can play with her niece and I am not sure I want to go.

I feel like I am overreacting, but do not want my children to be in potential situations where the cannot handle the peer thing. I also do not want to offend my friend or others. My other concern is that if I "shelter" them, which we do, is that the right thing. Will they ever be strong women with a love for God and a desire to do what is righteous. I understand that they are still young, 11, 9, 6, and 3 1/2. Actually my 11 year old tried to play with the younger children that were here and was totally uninvolved with the other things, in fact, she was the one that made me aware of them. Is there a balance to be found. Today I just feel like I have to be watching everthing at every moment when we are away from home to protect and teach my own children. I am not trying to be critical of others here. I just need help in figuring out the right way to handle things like these.

I did consult with my husband and he says to stay away from these kinds of situations and I honor and respect his decision. But sometimes you get into things that are unexpected and I need to know how to get out of them with grace and tact and not offend anyone.

Thank you for the time and space. Sorry this is so wordy.

Only by His grace, Dorene


Subject : Thoughts on "Sheltering" AND Ministry!
Posted by Tamara Eaton on Wednesday, 22 July 1998, at 11:07 a.m., in response to Re: Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Dorene Bankester on Wednesday, 22 July 1998, at 8:59 a.m.

A warm welcome to CHFWeb, Dorene! We're so glad you've joined us here.

You said:

> I feel like I am overreacting, but do not want my children to be in
> potential situations where they cannot handle the peer thing. I also
> do not want to offend my friend or others. My other concern is that
> if I "shelter" them, which we do, is that the right thing. Will they
> ever be strong women with a love for God and a desire to do what is
> righteous.

I do understand your concern, Dorene. I'm all for sheltering our children AND for reaching out in ministry to others --I believe there are two keys to managing both:

1. *Supervision* --we never leave younger children alone to play with other children but always include them in the same room or have an older, trustworthy, godly teen watching them closely. Before our children were older, my husband and I would alternate keeping an eye on the children. The times we didn't do this, we regretted it later!

2. *Being sensitive to the Lord in when and how He wants us to be involved!* I love encouraging and discipling others, I want to "fix" the whole world, but there is a limit to how much we can be involved in some of these situations while our children are young. If we try to do too much at this stage, we could easily end up neglecting our responsibilities to our own children and not have time to homeschool and nurture them properly. As our children have grown older, we are finding we have more time to reach out in ministry to others without neglecting our primary responsibilities, but even now we have to stay focused on what HE has called us to do, otherwise it would be easy to get sidetracked and take on more than He desires.

But back to the "sheltering" of our children...is it detrimental to future ministry opportunities? Will they still be able to demonstrate compassion to those in the world with different backgrounds? We believe that the Lord can give our children insight by His Holy Spirit so that they can have discernment, understanding and wisdom in dealing with others who are "out in the world" involved in things they've never experienced.

Our goal is to prepare all of our children for ministry --we believe that these skills are best developed, discussed, and nurtured from a place of strength and security in a loving family, reaching out to others together--sharing Jesus with a lost and dying world, edifying and encouraging our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

For more encouragement, God's Word is filled with principles to help us disciple our children, prepare them for ministry and develop godly relationships. Here are just a few that we've gone over with our children again and again--

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

1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

2 Timothy 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

Colossians 2:6-8 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Psalm 71:5 "For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth."

Psalm 101:2-4 "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person."

Titus 2:12-13 "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ..."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

1 Corinthians 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."

2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

Ephesians 4:17 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind..."

1 Peter 1:15 "But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation..."

James 4:4 "... know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

Proverbs 22:24-25 " Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

Proverbs 13:20 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

Ephesians 5:8-11 "... walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

Colossians 3:1-2 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

We look forward to you joining in more as you have time!

In His Abiding Joy and Strength,

Tamara


Subject : Is the Spirit of Worldliness in YOUR Home? Strong words for parents today from the 1800's
Posted by Tamara Eaton on Wednesday, 22 July 1998, at 12:25 p.m., in response to Symptoms of Worldliness?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 21 July 1998, at 9:18 p.m.

"....too often Christian parents allow the world to prey upon their children. Children grow up in comparative ignorance about the blessed Saviour, are entrusted to the care of irreligious or worldly teachers, are allowed to associate with those whose spirit and influence is altogether worldly...."

"To what a large extent the education of the young has been left to the State, to the secular school, and to the spirit of the age, until the youthful heart has lost the simplicity and tenderness of which the Master spoke when He said, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven".....Would God that the eyes of His people might be opened to the danger which threatens His Church! It is not infidelity or superstition; it is the spirit of worldliness in the homes of our Christian people, sacrificing the children to the ambition or society, to the riches or the friendship of the world, that is the greatest danger of Christ's Church. If every home once won for Christ were a training school for His service, we would find in this a secret of spiritual strength not less than all that ordinary preaching can accomplish."

"It is faith that still finds the same path of safety. 'By faith Moses was hid by his parents.' They trusted God....Christian parent, hide your child. And where? Oh, hide him in that safest refuge, 'The shadow of the Almighty,'....Lay your child from its birth daily there in faith....Let the mighty rock of God's strength and the tender covering of His feathers be your child's ark, while still he is all unconscious of temptation or danger. With the first dawn of reason, may the clefts of the rock and the love of Jesus be the place of safety to which you guide the youthful feet."

"....The education Moses' mother gave her son during the years of his childhood was such that all the years of training in Pharaoh's court could not obliterate it. His parent's faith bore fruit in his faith when he, at every cost, chose suffering with the people of God and was not afraid of the wrath of the king. Moses saw Him who is invisible. Train the child for God and His people, and when the time comes that he must go into the world, even into Pharaoh's court, he will be safe in the power of faith of of God's keeping."

--Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13