J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Fighting Worldliness This Holiday Season

I recently finished reading “Worldliness” a collection of essays by such authors as C.J. Mahaney and John Piper. Though small, this book is incredibly practical and theologically sound. It focuses not on the list of things to do or not do to maintain holiness and avoid worldliness, but instead, it offers practical tips as to how we should guard our hearts from drifting into a love of this world. In this area, I would agree with the book. The issue of our love for the world lies not the things we avoid or indulge, but rather the issue of our love for the world lies in what our heart is drawn to or even away from.

CJ Mahaney, in his article, offers a practical guideline as to how we know if our hearts are drifting away from holiness and into a love of this world. He describes it in way: “It begins with a dull conscience and a listless soul. Sin does not grieve you like it once did. Passion for the Savior begins to cool. Affections grow dim. Excitement lessens for participating in the local church. Eagerness to evangelize starts to wane. Growth in godliness slows to a crawl.”

I thought there was great wisdom in this explanation. Each thing he mentions can gradually creep into our lives while we are so often are unaware of its presence. For example, does sin grieve us at it once did or have we grown accustomed to it? Do we worship and participate in the life of our local church out of obligation or passion? Have we lost our excitement for sharing the truths of the Gospel to those who need it or have we by default left it for someone else to do?

These things might not immediately warn us of a heart that is moving toward worldliness, but if they are present, they are evidence of a dimming passion for Christ. If our passion is dimming for Christ, the only remaining passion is for this world. Mahaney warns of not taking these things seriously. He samples a typical response.

We say, “Oh, it’s not serious. I’ve just been in a busy season. Yeah, I’m not as excited about the gospel or the Christian life as I used to be, but I’m fine. I’m still attending church. It’s not like I’ve left God or anything. I’ve just been preoccupied lately. I’ll get back on track soon.”

Mahaney’s response is dead on. We don’t want to admit that our hearts have grown dim in passion for Christ and grown alive in passion for this world. I found this article and the other ones as well just incredibly encouraging and immensely practical. Check it out if you can.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner. Read it there and help me earn a penny.

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December 19, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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