Some Common “Under-The-Radar” Manifestations Of Worldliness
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” God clearly desires for us to be separate from the sinful ways of the world. Unfortunately, those who are God’s people often allow the world to influence their thinking and actions. And, there are even some common ways this is seen in Christians that often go unnoticed or that are not considered to be “big deals.” So, let’s consider four common “under-the-radar” manifestations of worldliness.
1) Speech. God’s people are expected to let “no corrupt word” proceed out of their mouths (Ephesians 4:29). Neither “filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting” are fitting for God’s holy people and must not be named among them (Ephesians 5:3-4). Yet, those who claim to be God’s people are commonly involved in worldliness in their speech. This not only includes the use of profanity, but even more “under-the-radar” manifestations such as euphemistic language/slang, using God’s name in vain, crude joking, gossip, etc. Yet, these are all ways that the world speaks that is not pleasing to God.
2) Clothing. God’s people are expected to clothe themselves in a way that honors Him. For instance, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 gives the following instructions (specifically to women, but applicable to men in principle): “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” Biblical evidence suggests that God calls anything short of being clothed from the neck to the knee “nakedness.” Still, those who claim to be God’s people are commonly involved in worldliness in their clothing. This includes wearing bathing suits, men with no shirts, shorts that do not cover the knee, tight-fitting or see-through clothing, low-cut shirts, etc. Yet, these are all ways that the world dresses that is not pleasing to God.
3) Priorities. God’s people are expected to seek God absolutely first in their lives. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” In context, this commandment even applies to seeking God before you seek the physical necessities of life (i.e. food, drink, and clothing). Yet, those who claim to be God’s people are commonly involved in worldliness in their priorities. This includes putting jobs, family, friends, entertainment, recreation, hobbies, etc. above serving God. Yet, these are all ways that the world prioritizes their lives that are not pleasing to God.
4) Recreation/entertainment. God’s people are expected to be holy as God is holy in every area of their lives (1 Peter 1:13-16). To be “holy” is to be entirely separated from everything that is not pleasing to God and to be fully dedicated to serving Him. Yet, those who claim to be God’s people are commonly involved in worldliness in their choices of entertainment and recreation. This includes putting entertainment and recreation ahead of attending the assemblies of the local church, serving others, teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, edifying brothers and sisters in Christ, providing for your family, etc. But, this also includes making sinful choices regarding the types of recreation/entertainment that you participate in, such as watching television programs, movies, listening to music, reading books, etc. in which sinful language, immodest dress, and other sin is portrayed.
These are four areas in which worldliness has crept into people’s lives “under-the-radar.” But, you must recognize that the eyes of the Lord see everything that is evil and worldly about your life (Proverbs 15:3). Therefore, you must always be diligent to stay away from the sinful ways of the world and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)!