|The Renunciation of Worldly Goods by Ghirlandaio.|
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been considering the sources of temptations and how to overcome them. We complete the series today by pondering how to flee temptations coming to us from the world.
As we saw earlier, when we speak of “the world” in the context of temptations, we don’t mean the created world. Everything God created is good if used correctly. The problem is, when we lost our proper relationship with God in Adam’s sin, we also lost our proper relationship with one another and with creation.
“The world” is the society that delights in pleasure more than it delights in God. The world entices us to join in the “fun.”
The world values pleasure, power, violence, wealth, fame, and comfort. It does not stop at tempting us. When we resist, it mocks and persecutes us. The world cannot stand to be rejected, having the fury of the proverbial scorned woman.
The world exalts the lowest things to the highest stature. Its motto is “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” It uses crude, vulgar, and blasphemous language without a second thought. It enshrines these values in book, magazines, TV, and movies. Ancient Rome’s coliseums and circuses exemplified the depths the world can sink to.
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