It’s always a good idea to reexamine things as a teacher. I’m in the habit of not only teaching students but also reviewing their performance after they’ve been assessed. I have to in order to know if the children have mastered the task or not. Most times, a student who performed poorly has a deficiency in one or two areas. It’s good to have that information so I know where to help them improve. But on occasion, I come to the realization that it was how I presented the lessons that caused students to perform poorly. It’s those times where I have to “go back to the drawing board” and reteach so the class will do better.
I was struck by this when reading some of my past posts on this site. I noticed that I, along with many other writers whom I’ve read, have used the term “the world” to refer to those out there, outside the church, the people who are not following God and blatantly living a sinful lifestyle. I couldn’t help but notice that that sounds an awful lot like the Pharisee in the book of Luke who arrogantly prayed that he wasn’t a nasty, good for nothing sinner like the tax collector (Luke 18:9-12).
And then it hit me. The “world” is not who we think it is. It’s not just the people who knowingly sin or purposely turn their backs on God. “The World” is really all of us. It’s the reality of our own sinful nature. It’s a part of our heart at times and especially so when we begin to believe that we’re immune to sin or that our own sin is not nearly as bad as the next guy. Just because I may act or speak more spiritually than an unbeliever doesn’t make me any less a sinner.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Here, Paul reminds us that while we can claim victory over the world through the blood of Jesus Christ, we should never forget where we came from. As long as we are in the flesh, we will constantly battle our own selfish desires. Paul goes on to say that we have a race to run and we cannot run that race aimlessly, taking for granted the sanctification we’ve given. Instead, we should control ourselves so that we may not become disqualified for the prize of heaven (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
“The World” is a very real place with very real temptation and sin and we have to work daily to not think or behave like Satan wants us to. A strong dose of humility is just what’s needed to remember that without Jesus, we would be just as lost as anyone else.