1 JOHN 2:15 Do not LOVE or CHERISH the world or the THINGS that are in the world. If anyone loves the WORLD, love for the Father is NOT in him.
Essentials 6. WORLDLINESS. DON'T BE WORLDLY: STOP LIVING LIKE THE WORLD DOES. This is not optional. You MUST do it! Yet virtually no church people do - because Ministers never taught you this "MUST" - and how to do it. Fact is, THEY don't do it!! But according to the verse above, loving the world and its attitudes and way of life means you do not love the Father! Hey, now that's SERIOUS!!!!
So first, you need t o understand what loving the world and being a friend of the world means: you live and you think like unbelievers do, because you WANT (and may even already have) all the things THEY want - such as a house like theirs and car or cars, furniture, clothing, holidays, INCOME, and more. You may even want more, bigger, better. You want comfort and ease of living rather than hardship that the New Testament clearly teaches. It's so serious because all of this is being quite self-centred just like them in your DESIRES, and your LIFE-FOCUS and LIVING. Plus it should shock you that Polls clearly show that the overall morality of the American church-Christian and church-goer is NO different from unbelievers! This is shocking FACT!!
Second, the results of this: JAMES 4:4b Don't you know that being the world's friend is being God's enemy? Whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. I do NOT want to be God's ENEMY!! Do you? Yet it's highly likely that you ARE at this very moment! And thus...
Third, to remedy this requires 'major spiritual surgery:' a RADICAL change in your attitudes and living (but it's a truly wonderful change!) - probably the greatest you'll ever make for the rest of your days! But you MUST - or it's IMPOSSIBLE for you to be a True Christian! Without even realising this, what you want at the centre of your life is YOURSELF, and YOUR wants. You must change this to: the centre of your life being GOD and what HE wants. This will COST you (but all worthwhile things in life cost), will likely be very hard, and probably take a deal of time (as it did for us). But start NOW! Start thinking HOW to become UNworldly - not conforming to how unbelievers all live and think.
Fourth, as you do this, MATERIAL things, and self-centred thinking, will start to lose their IMPORTANCE. Things of God now CAN, and WILL, begin to grow in you - replacing the wrong and bad! You'll start to look more carefully at all of your spending. Here are some PRACTICAL ways to help you get started with this, by considering:
1) Is it selfish/self-centered? 2) Is it necessary - or for greed rather than NEED? 3) Is it wasteful? 4) Is it a clear 'I WANT?' - much of which is idolatry!! Examples: a) You don't really need that holiday (unnecessary; wasteful). b) You do need a break, but not a long and expensive one to the Caribbean (wasteful, self-centered, 'I want'). c) You're thinking of buying an expensive new lounge suite - but can it last a bit longer? Is there a cheaper way to do it? (wasteful, and may be 'I want.') d) Did you truly need the new clothes you bought? (maybe wasteful, 'I want').
e) Twenty years after marriage, a man buys his wife an eternity ring, very cheap, but it looks great and she is rapt! (not selfish - but out of love; cheap yet nice - not wasteful). f) A husband loves his wife's hair. She spends a little more on a hair conditioner in order to keep her hair looking decent (practical, not wasteful; love motive). g) A family buys a new car. They could have saved many thousands on a quality 2nd hand one (very wasteful; 'I want'). h) A couple spent a little more on a used car with full air-bags, to protect their precious family (not selfish). i) You fixed up something old instead of buying a new one (not wasteful). j) The big one: you choose to buy a smaller home with fewer features and NO extravagances (money saved for the Lord; not greedy; certainly not 'I want').
Fifthly, most of the rest of the world (literally billions!) are FORCED every day to focus on just the LIFE ESSENTIALS of food, shelter, clothing, clean water!! But we don't have to! Yet as you give up the 'things' of this world, you'll slowly begin to live a simpler life. And as a result of that - and this is a real 'wow!' - you'll begin to have money to spare. Even if you have relatively little like us, you'll still be able to give to other True Believers who are in serious need, as in the next Section.
Sixth - a MUST! You'll not want your children to grow up worldly like you've been. Make certain you teach them how to please God by living this new way, including by seeing YOU live it. This will also help them to wisely choose their educational path - not for self gain or desire, but ultimately for the Lord.