A few years ago I shared my “mixed bag” with a wise friend of mine. “Sometimes I hate the public side of writing because it reveals a twisted darkness deep inside me,” I told her.
I thought she would be shocked. I thought she might say to stop blogging.
She wasn’t and she didn’t. “Of course it does,” she said. Then she shared her view with me, that often the very ways God gifts us—the very things He calls us to do—have purpose within us as well as without, and often the “within” purpose is to reveal and begin pulling out deep roots of sin.
“It’s a little like the parable of the wheat and the tares,” she said, “though it’s clear in Scripture they’re symbols for people. But I think they can also symbolize our motives. Some are pure, coming from the Holy Spirit. But others are straight from our own selfish hearts. When we use the gifts God gives us, we will see both.”
“The ‘tares’ I discover in my heart make me want to quit writing,” I told her. “Sometimes I think it would be safer just not to do it—or at least not to publish it.”
“But that’s exactly what you should NOT do,” she said. “We will never have pure motives for any ‘good’ we do this side of heaven. It’s far better to have our sin revealed to us than to be safe and leave it hidden. We can’t deal with it until it’s out. We have to trust that God will not only reveal the sins but will also pull them out AND He will work good through our trusting Him and pursuing Him with our gifts.”
So the answer for how to “not become engrossed with things of this world” is NOT to quit using them. If that were true, we would have no believers in business or marketing or the fashion industry or law or coaching or…
No, many, perhaps most believers are called to use the things of this world AND not become engrossed in them. Many are called to wrestle constantly with the tension.
And to let the tension pull us ever closer to Jesus.
Because in this tension, we see our need;
we see His sufficiency;
and we fall deeper in love with Him.
“This high priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (NLT)