Worldliness not confined to rank, walk, or circumstance of life
Published 12:16 pm Friday, August 7, 2020
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Growing up I heard a lot about worldliness, but not so much anymore. Has the church changed its mind on it? — W.W.
Dear W.W.: Worldliness is not confined to any particular rank, walk, or circumstance of life. But worldliness is a spirit, an atmosphere, an influence, permeating the whole of life in human society, and it needs to be guarded against constantly and strenuously. In 1 John 2:15, the Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (KJV). It also warns that the world will pass away, but the person who does the will of God abides forever (see 1 John 2:17).
Worldliness has been vastly misunderstood. While certain elements of daily life are not sinful in themselves, many of them can lead to sin if abused. Abuse literally means “overuse” or “misuse” of things lawful, which then become sin. Pleasure is lawful in its use, but unlawful in its overuse.
Our daily occupation, reading, dress, friendships, and other similar phases of life are all legitimate and necessary — but can easily become illegitimate, harmful, and unnecessary. Thinking about the necessities of life is absolutely essential, but this can easily degenerate into anxiety. Making money is necessary for daily living, but it’s apt to degenerate into money-loving, and then the deceitfulness of riches enters in and spoils our spiritual lives.
We must make a stand for Christ. It does not mean that in society we are snobs or have a superiority complex, lest we be in danger of spiritual pride (which would be far worse than worldliness). But today there are so many professing Christians who are walking hand in hand with the world, making it difficult to tell the difference between the Christian and the person of the world. Our lives must make it plain whose we are and whom we serve!
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)