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In the World But Not of It

While I visited a friend, her toddler was playing with Play-Doh. As I watched him flatten, pinch and create, I thought about how easily the clay conformed to the gentlest touch of his hands. Then I realized our lives can be the same, with much greater consequences than a few clay crumbs in the carpet or a misshapen Play-Doh creation.

For me, that Play-Doh represents our attitudes, beliefs and behavior and how easily they can be molded and changed if we aren’t careful. As Christians, we are called to “be in the world but not of it,” meaning that we can’t live in our “Christian bubbles” forever. Instead, we must seek out the hurting and sick — without becoming hurt and sick ourselves. That is a hard concept to grasp and an even harder concept to live out.

Our job is to go into the world to find those who need Jesus and bring them to Him. In doing so, we are going to be in situations and around people who may influence us negatively. Even Jesus sought time with the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” When “in” the world, we must guard ourselves from becoming “of” it. I have to ask myself daily, “Am I influencing the world or is the world influencing me?”

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