Define Worldliness

From my 2012 Journal. When I was growing up, the adults in my life defined worldly as doing anything that looked like you might fit into or embrace the culture around you:

  • Wearing certain clothing (the list might include too short, too long, too revealing, too flashy, pants vs skirts)
  • Going to a bar / drinking alcohol / smoking / drugs
  • Facial hair on men / short hair on women
  • Going to the movies (or the pool hall or the bowling alley)
  • Wearing too much makeup (especially red lipstick) or jewelry
  • And, of course, dancing!

So I was surprised when I read that the Apostle Paul defined worldliness not with outward-appearance restrictors but as “jealousy and quarreling among yourselves.”

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? (I Corinthians 3:3)

Whom should I believe . . . ? Perhaps those adults in my life were more worldly than they cared to admit!

Scott and I, young and in love, and apparently not caring about outward appearance!