Living in the World, Not of It

In the Christian faith, we believe that the soul is everlasting. It never dies. We are here on this earth to love God and other people, and enjoy everything this life has to offer, but also know and be prepared for the life to come, a life that does not fade away by death. Our minds are not just here, but also on the the things to come, though still being present. 

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….

When believing in Christ, we begin understanding a little bit about God. We enter into a process of renewal in  His Spirit and the reading of his word. Many times, our ambitions change from common customs to practicing those of the Christian faith. The attitudes, systems, patterns of mainstream thought, mainstream living can very often be counter Godly and counter spiritual. Sometimes, customs even teach things like racism, sexisim, abuse. Our world is based on tangible proven facts and systematic rules and laws that everyone can engage with minimal contention. We grow up learning social norms, mainstream values, how a typical life might look; delightful childhood, education, career, family, trips and travel, hobbies, and then getting old, retiring (hoping that you lived a purpose driven life) and then you grow old and pass away. The world offers everything under the sun concerning human creations and ambition. There is just one problem, when we are gone what was it all for, where does it all go. It is a common comfort that our traditions teach that legacies get carried on through our children, and the next generations to come. This is true, but it is not the end-all of fulfillment and purpose. We all contribute. Every life is important, and perhaps it is more about what is being developed in the internal person rather the external. 

1 Corinthians 7: 31 those who use the things of this world, but not engrossed by them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

It is our experiences and choices that establish our character and in each person’s character there is an essence of a person. The things they have built in the mind, the spirit is established even though intangible. If a child grows up with a parent who has a wonderful, loving character but poor, verses a child that grows up with rich parents but are always walking on eggshells lest they get hit or yelled at, does the big house matter to the child then? Probably not. Would the poor child remember the small house, or the parent’s big heart more. Probably the big heart. 

In the same way, being engrossed in mainstream standards of what is acceptable, successful, or a “moral” way of living  fades away with trends, opinions, and change. Rather, what is established in the spiritual realm, in the hearts of humans is what remains. A lot of people do not believe in the spiritual realm, or that the soul retains knowledge and experience, this doesn’t change that our lives will end, and we can decide not to believe in anything afterward because there is no proof, or we can believe. It is what each person decerns as right within their own spirit that witnesses to themselves.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. Where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust so not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heat will be also. 

We are to enjoy this life and do all that the heart desires, but our hope, security, and identity is not based on houses, stocks, peoples good opinion, career roles, style, preferences. These are all entertainment, and will fade. What remains through the ages are treasures laid up in the spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. Love remains. It has meaning. We can establish living a loving life, even though we are surrounded by negativity and live in a cruel world. These are the things that last in this life and in the life to come. There is a place of goodness, purity, and life. It is in God.



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