In the World, Not of the World


The world will tell you a lot of things about who you should be.

It’ll tell you what strength looks like. It’ll tell you what weakness is. It’ll tell you how to parent, how much money you should make, and how to look.

Want to know what this world will never tell you? 

How to live for Christ.

How to walk through the trenches with others. How to give freely, without expecting praise or anything else in return. How to be refined, admit you were wrong, and let go. How to give up control and trust His plan.

This world and eternity don’t always mix. What this world values and what God calls us to don’t often align. 

It May Sound Simple, But It’s Not

As believers, we’re called to resist the vanity, selfishness, and materialism of this life, and keep our eyes on eternity.

And even though an end to all suffering, abundant hope, and the goodness of God SOUND more appealing, it’s still a difficult command to keep.


Because day after day we are inundated with ads, media, and voices telling us what we need to be. After all - we still have to live in this world for a short while, right? We can’t just ignore it and pretend that we don’t need (and want) to succeed.

So what does it mean to “not conform to the patterns of this world”?

It’s a Heart Thing

Romans 12 calls us to resist what the world idolizes and keep our sights on God.

What does the world idolize? Things like:

  • Money
  • Vanity
  • Materials
  • Status
  • Power

By no means does God want us to be poor, self-conscious, without possessions, or weak. What God wants is simple. He wants our hearts.

He wants us to use our money for good. To feed our families nourishing, healthy foods. To bless others when we’re able. To pay our bills and honor our homes.

God wants us to see ourselves the way He sees us; the way He designed us. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Notice this verse never says “You should not do your hair, wear makeup, or get dressed up.” No - instead 1 Peter very clearly states that these things are not where your beauty and value should come from.

The world may say that make-up, a certain body type, or designer clothes will make you beautiful - but that’s not what God says.

He calls our hearts to be what makes us beautiful. God wants us to have a steadfast spirit, a kind heart, and a healthy mind. 

Of course, we can have material possessions, but while the world may tell us to boast and brag, God calls us to use them for His glory. To share what we have, use our possessions to bless our homes and loved ones, and remember that every blessing we have is a gift from God.

You can follow God and go for that promotion, hold an executive position, or serve at a high level.

What matters here, whether it’s money, title, or possessions, is the heart behind it.

In the World, But Not of The World

While this popular notion may make it seem like we’re stuck, rest assured, my friends, we are not.

I like to think of this verse as a call to shine. We can reflect how God has changed our lives through our words, actions, and choices.

God didn’t call us to wallow and suffer until we enter Heaven's gates. Instead, He chose us for a time just like this. We were sent into the world to love others, stand firmly in our faith, and bring God the glory.

Even in a broken world, through His power, we are always blessed. 

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