“Worldly Things”


Within American Christian culture there tends to be this idea that we need to avoid “worldly things.” Such an idea leads to many Christians giving up TVs, video game systems, or to putting more of an emphasis into “spiritual things.” If it came down to a church event or a child’s sporting event, there could possibly be some conflict as the church is “spiritual” and the sporting event is “secular.”

However, this is an issue where Christians can and should take a “both/and” approach. Turning to Ignatius of Antioch we read:

“Apart from Him, nothing else should have any value in your eyes; but in Him, even these chains I wear are a collar of spiritual pearls to me, in which I hope to rise again through the help of your intercessions.”

For the Christian (and in reality) nothing has any value outside of Christ. He provides value for all things. Gold means nothing. Our morals mean nothing if He is not both the beginning and the end. Nothing we do matters outside of Him. But within Him, all things matter and there is no ‘worldly’ or ‘secular.’

What it means to be “in Him” simply points to the motives of why you’re doing something. A baseball game is just as spiritual as a church service when the parent is there to provide help, motivation, and just general enjoyment for the child playing. It helps to create a bond with other humans as well as within our own families. That is part of what it means to love.

We need to avoid attempting to “spiritualize” things that we don’t see as overtly spiritual. We don’t need to “spiritualize” gum, or board games, or anything else. We simply need to use these objects in the right way (though, is there a wrong way to use gum?).

Thus, anything you do that is the result of or leads to you loving God with all your heart, mind, and soul, as well as loving your neighbor as yourself, is good and holy. Anything that is necessarily purely selfish or degrades your love for God or neighbor in any way is abhorrent and should be avoided.

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One thought on ““Worldly Things”

  1. You know you can get a sugar-free testamint if you don’t like to sugar coat your quoted scripture…

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