“I am crucified to the world,” says Paul. That word “world” is used in Scripture with varying meanings. Sometimes it stands simply for the numbers of our fellow-men and women around us. In that sense, God loves the world– the foolish, sinful, ailing world– loves it enough to give his Son for it. And we must learn to love it too.

But often the world means that vague, dim, ever-present threatening mass of earthly things which are dangerous to the soul, such as:

– the currents that sweep one away from what is high, true, and unselfish.

– the pressure of the crowd about us, tending to carry us along with it into the customary, the mediocre, and the earthly.

– the throng of interests that crowd our minds and leave no room for the Lord Jesus.

Whatever robs our alligience, whatever cheats us out of our inheritance in Him, whatever drags us down and back– that IS the world. Not necessarily anything evil of itself, but just the fulness of life, the rush of things, the babble of busy affairs, and even our hopes, dreams, ambitions, and desires. Matters that are quite harmless, even true and beautiful in themselves, can grow into one’s world. A man’s home, says Christ, can even become the “world”. For he may sink back luxuriously into that, grow soft, flabby, and self-indulgent, and forget that those around him need his help.

If anything at all is crowding God out of our lives, if anything is making us throw aside the high purposes of God, if anything is convincing us that some of Jesus’s words are mere poetry and are not meant for literal obedience, then that is the world to us. Whatever it is, it is the world to us and we must be crucified to it. It is through things like that by which souls are mostly lost, for the flesh and the devil are open and deadly, but the world is far more subtle and deadly.

“Crucified to this world”- are we really?

– Arthur J. Gossip

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