May 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him . . . the world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John2:15, 17a).  The world does not think like Christians think. Their values are different; their beliefs are different; their destinies are different. Christians cannot afford to emulate the world and its values lest they become like them. James 4:4 warns Christians, “. . . Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” You can’t live with one foot in each camp. You have to choose whose side you’re on. The devil informs the world of its values, beliefs, standards, and goals. Here are some of the world’s beliefs:

1. “Bigger is better”

Is bigger better or is bigger simply bigger? Size does not equal quality.

2. “The more the merrier”

Does having more people attend an event make it merrier? Perhaps but merrier is a subjective measurement. What may seem merry for one may seem miserable for another. Quantity does not always equal quality.

3. “Sex sells”

Madison Avenue and most advertisers live by this adage. Does sex sell? It’s not really sex that sells a product but people are being attracted to a lusty image. The theory is that if the sight of an attractive, semi-clothed woman can attract men and women to view a product they are more likely to buy that product.  Maybe, but only if the product actually does what it boasts it will do. If not, it will be a one-time sale. The sight of skin alone is insufficient to sell a product.

4. “Youth must be served”

As one who is an older adult, I clearly recognize the power of youth. The young have zeal, energy, creativity which the world needs to grow. There certainly can be a reticence on the part of older adults to make way for the younger generation. They may hang on too long. What older adults lack in zeal and energy they make up for in experience, wisdom, and faithfulness. This saying pits one generation against another. The truth is both young and old are necessary for a healthy growing culture.

5. “Science has all the answers”

Clearly science has some answers but not all the answers. There are facets of God’s creation which baffle scientists especially the non-physical. This saying was proven false by the heavy reliance on science to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Science could not develop a vaccine to prevent people from becoming infected. The best they could do was formulate a vaccine which would lessen the symptoms.

6. “God helps those who help themselves”

This timeless lie is still believed and circulated by many. Why is it a lie? Doesn’t God expect us to take action, to work and help ourselves? Didn’t He give us a brain? Yes, we are to take action but the lie comes in the self-sufficiency of the statement. It implies that God needs our help. A truthful restatement would be, “God helps those who call upon Him.”

7. “The one who dies with the most toys wins”

You’ve probably seen the poster featuring a large mansion, a swanky sports car, a power boat, a swimming pool, and a man pointing to it all with obvious pride. The caption under the poster is “The one who dies with the most toys wins.” My question is, “Wins what?” Wins the game of life? You’re dead! Is that all life is, superficial trappings and the one who wins is the one who accumulates the most or the best. No. All the toys fade into oblivion someday. “Only one life ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” As the pharaohs of ancient Egypt discovered, when you die you leave it all behind.

8. “Question authority”

The cry of the rebel (and usually the young) is “Question authority.” The implication is that authority may not be telling you the truth or overstepping their position of power and therefore whatever they say should be questioned. No blind obedience here. There is a point to this declaration that resonates with me. We should not give blind obedience to authority just because they hold the power. Consider how Peter and John responded when they were brought before the Jewish authorities for preaching the gospel. “ . . . whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19, 20). On the other hand, God does not countenance rebellion. In 1 Samuel 15:23, the prophet Samuel confronts the rebel king Saul with these words, “For rebellion is as the sin of divination and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry . . .” The bottom line is we should question authority respectfully.

9. “Seeing is believing”

My question is what about that which you cannot see? You cannot see emotions, feelings, or thoughts. Does that mean you don’t believe in them because you can’t see them? I don’t think anyone takes this worldly statement seriously. Everyone knows you cannot see some very important things yet all believe in them. For example, radio or television waves; you can’t see  or hear them unless you have a receiver such as a radio or television yet you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they exist.

10. “Out of sight out of mind”

This adage has a lot of truth to it. We do tend to forget things, people, and events when we don’t see them on our calendars or communicate with people periodically. People have short memories.

No friend of the world,