How well I remember the first time I heard the word: “World-ly.” It was from a congregation member in an independent pentecostal style church, and they were referring to watching television. ‘Friendship with the world is hatred toward God, ” they declared to me with much confidence. “It’s in the book of James,” they said.
SO I went home and read the book of James. I have to say I didn’t much care for James (my brother in the Lord by the way) When I first read his book. I thought, “Wow,” and was stunned by these words; “Adulterers and Adultesses! Don’t you know friendship with the world is emnity (hatred) toward God? Wow. Wrecked all my love theories in a big fat hurry! James 3 and 4, preface to 5 where the solution is given, without a lot of fanfare. It wrecked my pride, right then. See I was faithful to someone who wasn’t (toward me) and I had serious pride about it too.
I wasn’t too happy with James that day, for causing me to see how Adulterous I was, but once I had read the words, I could not possibly “Un-read” them either.
I remember when I heard television watching, listening to (worldly) music, smoking, eating too much, and even talking to those who are not preaching the bible every day of their lives was considered to be “worldiness.” I wanted you to know where this doctrine came from. It came from someone who loved the bible, but didn’t study it too well. They saw something on the pages (of their beloved bible) and ran with it.
What is the cure to this (adulterous) Worldiness James is talking about? Well he tells you in his next words, “Draw near to God,” He says (James 4:8) “Purify your heart” (oh I just thought of Matthew 5, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall (see God) Oh maybe this is the cure for blindness, eh? Purify my heart? What does that mean?
So I asked God about it (over and over again) in my personal friendship time with Him. For if he is my friend, he is willing to show me, right? I would think so!
OH here’s the answer: “He gives us more Grace.” More Grace? More unmerrited favor when we are so messed up? How could it be, I wondered?
James mentions weeping (over our own sing) getting humble, enduring, and patiently waiting for God to do the work (in us) and also “admitting” to others we have faults.
He says nothing about going on witch hunts to find people we think are worldly and nailing them to the wall. Nothing about being all puffed up and smug about our “lack of worldliness,” And nothing about Judging others (for being so messed up). Furthermore He (like his brother Jesus) Just said we are adulterers and adultresses JUST for loving the world (or any part of it) More than we love God. WOW.
So, there we go. No more judging others for what YOU consider to be worldly or the worst sin, eh? Get your eyes on yourself (and your relationship with God). It’s the only way. The only way! And now you know why I don’t easily submit to the judgment of others. Let God be the Judge! Let (the words) of man fall to the ground, and let every Word of God stand true! I love James (now) Why? I Prayed I would! And God answered me! Because this is the types of prayers HE REALLY LOVES TO ANSWER! “Father change my heart, make me more like you……Help me love what you love, and turn from what you hate. Amen”
Your sister, lover of James, lover of God and lover of truth in God’s Spirit,
As Christ is formed in you ……(Let it begin) God’s peace (and Mercy) to you all…….