This post may not set well with some.
I’m okay with that.
You may disagree with me.
I’m okay with that as well.
We all look at life through different lenses. Those lenses change as life changes. How I saw something as a child is not, most likely, how I would see the same thing as an adult. Sometimes, lenses change because of life events. For example, when I taught school I was a mom of a baby. One innocent baby. If I were to teach in a classroom again, after raising four kids to young adulthood, I would do things so differently. My lens has changed.
Okay. Enough of the introduction–which wasn’t really an introduction at all but more of a disclaimer.
Last week, our small group tackled the subject of worldliness. As a group of Christian parents, this topic generated some of the best conversation I remember having in small group. It is always enlightening to hear others’ opinions on topics–their definitions and experiences. It is by sharing in such settings that we can learn from one another.
Worldliness has been one of my hot buttons for a while. I was brought up in a pretty conservative home. Cable television didn’t even exist in our town until I was almost in high school and my parents didn’t subscribe to it until I was almost done with high school. Of course, we had no internet and the only game system available at the time was Atari. If you ever played on the Atari system, you know that graphics were not quite advanced at that point. 🙂 Commercials on TV were clean and modest. Yes, we had beer commercials and cigarette commercials, but the actors in them were fully clothed. Victoria’s Secret didn’t exist so it didn’t have scantily clad women parading their assets across the screen of our TV. My parents never hesitated to let us watch whatever they were watching. (Except for a few sitcoms–All in the Family and Maude were among them and those are mild compared to what is watched by families today)
Fast forward to modern day America. Internet allows access to images that couldn’t even be talked about when I was young. Television can seldom be a family viewing event. Even if the show you sit down to watch is okay, the commercials often contain images that many do not want their children (or husbands 🙂 ) to see. Social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram allow ideas and pictures to be instantly shared.
What does all this have to do with worldliness? In a nutshell, it is interesting to see the progression of what has become acceptable even within the Christian circles. To me, it is also sad. There is little difference between posts and pictures of Christian friends and non-Christian friends. Of course there are exceptions, but, those exceptions are rare as opposed to the norm. I get that parenting and being a young person in this world is difficult. The pressure to fit in is unbelievable and constant.
BUT, is fitting in the ultimate goal?
I do not believe it is.
In fact, if one calls themselves a Christian–a Christ follower–then one should NOT fit in. A Christian should be looked at as different–different because we spend Sunday mornings in church, yes, but it should be more than that.
We should LOOK different than those who do not follow Christ.
We should TALK differently than those who do not follow Christ.
We should listen to different things than those who do not follow Christ.
C.J. Mahaney, in his book titled Worldliness, said it this way: “The greater our difference from the world, the more true our testimony for Christ–and the more potent our witness against sin. But sadly, today, there’s not much difference. The lines have been blurred.”
For me, I often wish I was born in a different era–one where the lines were not blurred, where Christians weren’t afraid to “not fit in”, where modest dress and clean language made it obvious that one was not like the rest of the world. God chose for me to live in these times, though. I can’t change the world around me. I have a feeling the slippery slope has only just begun. All I can do is live the way God calls me to live and pray–even so, come Lord Jesus.