We commonly associate the word worldliness as something to do with having certain bad habits such as womanizing, smoking, drinking, and gambling. Or the insatiable desire to acquire more money and material wealth.
It is also sometimes even more wrongly defined as having to do with disassociation with people who are doing these bad habits, and materialism.
In the New Testament, the word “world” is used in four different ways:
1. The entire universe
2. This planet we call Earth
3. Humanity in general
4. and a Value system opposed to God
The Bible says that we should not “conform to the patterns of this world.” It meant the “world” as a value system opposed to God. It has nothing to do with social contact with other people.
As followers of Christ, we are different not so much in terms of dress codes or general social behavior, but in living according to a very different set of values – God’s values as said in His Word.
These values don’t only involve morality and sexuality, but also our attitude towards possessions, power, and status.
Worldliness has to do more with:
- domination than service
- strife than peace
- bitterness than forgiveness
- malice than justice
- indifference than love
- materialism than minimalism
- selfishness than generosity
There are many more terms that would define worldliness.
We can discover more by examining our lives with a humble heart, then reflecting on what God’s Word has to say about it, and then choosing to follow it.
In doing so, we can find a peace and quiet like we’ve never experienced before.