“The World” Is Not Who You Think It Is

Split Rock (Rialto Beach, Washington Coast)
Split Rock (Rialto Beach, Washington Coast)

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.

-Joe

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9 thoughts on ““The World” Is Not Who You Think It Is

    1. Joe Butler

      I can see how it’s easy to hold ourselves in high standing in regards to our place as God’s children. That’s why I like Paul’s writings so much. He spent a lot of time humbly admitting how much he needed Christ and how undeserving he was of his salvation. It’s good to take that mindset lest we become arrogant and think it’s by our goodness that we’re saved.

    1. Joe Butler

      The world is undoubtedly cruel and unfair in many respects. Every time I show selfishness or greed or a vindictive attitude, I’m just as much a part of the world as the unsaved. I try to make a concerted effort to pray with that in mind and when I speak to God, to ask him to help me know how much I need him and how lost I would be without him. It is by his saving grace that I have any semblance of hope anyways. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that.

  1. The True Light!

    Another good post, Joe. Yes, we can become “comfortable” in excluding ourselves from the world. But we sin as does everyone. Thank the Lord we have His grace to forgive us, which sets us apart from that part of the world which doesn’t care about the Lord at all.

    Take care, Joe…
    Steve

    1. Joe Butler

      You’re right about the hope we have in his grace. We take that grace for granted though if we act is if we’re better than the world or create a hierarchy of sin and place our own sins in the “I’m working on it” category. We need the grace of God just as much as the “world” does. Thanks again Steve for your comments.

      1. The True Light!

        Good job of describing the way we as His children look at things! Grace applies to us in exactly the same way as it does everyone else.

        Sin requires repentance for forgiveness no matter who we are…

        Thanks Joe, and have a great weekend!

        Steve

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