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.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1 John 2: 15-17
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
This one too
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
The thought that, as a Christian, you are suppose to be in the world but not of the world has been on mind a lot lately. Especially with all the political debates, kids I know that have turned away from religion, my own kids' spiritual thoughts and behaviors, friends' and family members thoughts on religion.
When I returned to Jesus and God last year I was called to be above. I'm one of God's children and as our Father he holds us to a high standard. That idea is not a hard one to wrap around. I have high expectations of my own children, I wouldn't think God would expect less of me (and he doesn't) then I would of them. The difficult part is reaching those expectations. To not fall back on old habits.
If Christians would hold to the standard of being in the world but not of the world, then I think Christians wouldn't have a bad name. People wouldn't close their doors or not answer phones when we come calling. Think of how Jesus lived, everyone wanted to be around him.
To me being in the world means living each day to it's fullest. I am to love and help my neighbors. I make sure that I'm not seen as prideful, boastful or just plain acting like I'm better than anyone. Live simply and love greatly. Doesn't sound too difficult.
Not being of the world is the hard part. Some things that have become acceptable today are scary. To see proof just look at some teenage and pre-teen kids Facebook pages. 12 year old girls wearing skimpy clothes, too much makeup and talking about how sexy they are or posing like they are making out with their girl friends. Boys talking about fighting, and being encouraged in this. Both sexes disrespecting adults and each other. Look at the shows premiering on t.v., people find funny what was shameful not too long ago. Does this mean we've grown as a nation? Are we more advanced since we now think it's okay to do whatever you want as long as it feels good? I think if we were to find a poll (I'm sure there is one out there somewhere) you would find true Christians to be a minority. Not the ones that go to church for the fire insurance, but the ones who uphold the commandments and guidelines of the Bible. The ones who are trying to be Christ-like. Morals just aren't cool anymore.
However, who would you rather spend time with...someone who is vulgar, coarse, parties every weekend (or every night) seems to be a ton of fun and a hot mess at the same time. Or someone who is graceful, one who you know doesn't judge. Who offers you a shoulder and a hug when needed. A trustful person who's faith glows from with in and makes you feel like a better person from just being near them. This person is not of this world, but in the world. The amount of people I currently know(and knew) that are truly like this I can count on one hand.
That is my goal, to be one of those people. I feel myself growing that way, but I hold myself back. I have some trouble in being not of the world. I listen to gossip, I feel judgmental at times, I have trouble letting go of anger, I still sometimes watch inappropriate shows, I feel as my support system isn't what I need. As I grow as a Christian there are more people that I no longer have any inclination to hang around. I realize I was not being true to myself when I was with them. This is what being of the world does to you, it makes you bitter, it makes you false, it makes you cynical, it makes you unloving.
The song I posted at the top of this very long, novel of a post is one I feel gives a good message of how we should live. Our lives should show the proof of God's love for us. I'm sorry for the long post, this isn't what I had intended to write on when I decided to post today. It's just what came out when I started typing and thinking. So I guess I'll do what I planned on for today tomorrow. I hope all my dear readers have a blessed Monday.