Regrets are not actions.”
–Loren D. Estleman (The Hider)
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
–2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT)
I don’t often do this, or maybe the mind is just lazy, but I’m going to copy a devotion I read yesterday. It’s from a book titled, A Charles Dickens Devotional, by Jean Fischer.
“The thoughts of worldly men are for ever regulated by a moral law of gravitation, which, like the physical one, holds them down to earth. The bright glory of day, and the silent wonders of a starlit night, appeal to their minds in vain. There are no signs in the sun, or in the moon, or in the stars, for their reading. They are like some wise men, who, learning to know each planet by its Latin name, have quite forgotten such small heavenly constellations as Charity, Forbearance, Universal Love, and Mercy, although they shine by night and day so brightly that the blind may see them; and who, looking upward at the spangled sky, see nothing there but the reflections of their own great wisdom and book-learning.
It is curious to imagine these people…, busy in thought, turning their eyes towards the countless spheres that shine above us, and making them reflect the only images their minds contain. The man who lives but in the breath of princes, has nothing his sight but stars for courtiers’ breasts. The envious man beholds his neighbours’ honours even in the sky; to the money-hoarder, and the mass of worldly folk, the whole great universe above glitters with sterling coin–fresh from the mint–stamped with the sovereign’s head–coming always between them and heaven… So do the shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed.
Worldliness is defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as: ‘of, relating to, or devoted to this world and its pursuits rather than to religion or spiritual affairs.’ In this passage from Barnaby Rudge, Charles Dickens offers a rich description of worldliness and how it separates us from God.
Jesus said, ‘No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other’ (Matthew 6:24 NIV). The apostle Paul added: ‘If any of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a fool so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.’ (1 Corinthians 3:18-19 NIV)
The opposite of worldliness is heavenly mindedness. We cannot be both at the same time. When we are heavenly minded, we live with Christ as our model, believing that He died for our sins. Second Corinthians 5:17 describes it this way: ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ When we set our minds on heavenly things, worldliness is no longer important to us. So choose to look up, keeping your eyes fixed on Christ and shifting your devotion from the world to God. Then watch as the glory of God unfolds in your life.”
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2