Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Being Worldly?

“Farewell, vain world; my soul bids you adieu. My Savior taught me to abandon you. Your charms may gratify a sensual mind, but cannot please a soul for God designed.”

David Brainerd
There's a lot about planet Earth I like.

I like people. I like the peacefulness of early mornings and hot tea and ice cream. I like stimulating conversations and the smell of rain and my porches. I like laughing and connecting, the warmth of the sun and butterscotch lattes.

But there are some things I wouldn't mind getting rid of. I hate cleaning and scheduling appointments. I get tired of always having something to do, of feeling pressed for time. I hate stressing about money, worrying about my kids, wondering if I measure up. I could live without fluctuating hormones dictating my mood. I get tired and discouraged and depressed. I take things too personally and carry guilt for not accomplishing more.

So as I ponder David Brainerd's quote, I think, absolutely, let's get rid of the yucky stuff, the junk that weighs me down. Amen, brother! But I'm not so sure I want to turn my back on the good. Does God require us to?

It's a matter of where we find our satisfaction, isn't it? In my desire to escape the hard in life, if I turn to worldly solutions that give temporary relief, I'm turning away from God. Those are the "charms that gratify a sensual mind" and don't please God. But Brainerd is not suggesting we ditch everything about this world, only those things that draw our attention away from Jesus. Scripture corroborates this.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 8:15

. . . I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10
There's nothing "wrong" with enjoying the world, as long as it doesn't pull us away from our real purpose on earth, glorifying our Father.

What do you think?

For more ideas spurred by this quote, visit Urailak at LivingforGod.

Photo Credit: kretyen


Karen said...

Good morning. I like the peaceful sounds of the early morning before the world has had a chance to wake up and the birds are the ones making the music. That part of the world is nice, the bad part of the world is the traits that draw us away from God. That's what needs to go, that's where we have to choose which is it going to be, satisfy our "worldly" traits or please God. Thanks for sharing today it was great reading as always.

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

It is, indeed, a matter of "where we find our satisfaction...".

Hope you have a satisfying day. Blessings to you - Marsha

LivingforGod said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today! I agree that it's not wrong to appreciate and enjoy God's blessings in this world. It is wrong when those things become more important...more desirable to us than God.