Often, we hear the term "worldliness." In the Bible, Jesus warns of this a number of times. So did His disciples.
Take the reading from Tuesday (May 17, 2016), "Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:1-10).
That's stark language. What is worldliness? It's earthy; it's being more concerned with worldly affairs than spiritual ones. It's focusing on the physical, instead of the supernatural. It's making idols out of things and creatures and pleasures of this planet.
When someone loses property or a friend, and this becomes an obsession -- a constant mourning, when we are what some call atrabilious -- then there is a lack of balance tilted toward the worldly. To mourn over physical things or a person in an unusually prolonged way and even become angry about it is an indication of spiritual immaturity. All worldliness indicates this.
That doesn't mean we don't pay attention to what's going on around us. Let's face it: especially these days, what's happening in the news carries spiritual implications -- often grave ones. They are "signs of the times." We must be cognizant of such events.
But we must not be not consumed by them. We should not have them as our focus -- nor worldly music and entertainments (and food). Period. Be of the world, said Jesus, but not part of it. Often, we find ourselves under attack from the enemy because we are treading on his territory -- partaking of it.
When we are "of the world," we are of the earth; we are worms instead of butterflies; we are religious without being spiritual. "And do not be conformed to this world," states Romans 12:2, "but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Being worldly is "double-mindedness."
Remember that we are in a war between spirit and flesh and what grows is which one you feed.
James 4:4 tells us starkly that "friendship with the world is hatred toward God." He goes on to say -- even tougher -- that "anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."
We must really think Jesus all the time, through the day, in all episodes and junctions of life. One does not simply tend to be religious -- sit in a church once a week -- and become spiritual any more than one who is in a garage automatically becomes a mechanic. We must have a commitment to eternity. It should constantly be on our minds.
Be of the world, to repeat, but not part of it.
Can this cause "problems"?
Well, it makes many situations in life awkward, and those sensing your unworldliness will often resist, shun, or even antagonize you. Butterflies have predators. But one must hold the ground of the risen Lord, for worldliness is the exact opposite of holiness and true wisdom derives not from human philosophy but the Wisdom of God. Butterflies fly above circumstances; they are new creatures, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 ("Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.") They have been through the crawling caterpillar stage and now transcend it -- have shed the cloak of the earth. They can see ultraviolet light: their perception is now beyond what it was.
Narrow worldly visions -- blindness -- as well as extended sorrow stem from self-love, self-pity, and a lack of Godly knowledge.
The Lord loves those in the world but wants them in His Kingdom, not the kingdoms of this earth, which tempt us every waking moment and attempt to keep us attached to the mud of this planet instead of the Light radiating from God.
[resources: A Life of Blessings]