Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This is the picture I showed the boys to help them develop a definition for the term "worldly." I made sure to point out that being worldly does not involve owning brightly-colored scarves, but does involve a love of pleasure and having your security in something other than Christ, much like the attitude that these scarves project.
Then, we read the chapter in Little Pilgrim's Progress in which Little Christian meets the character Worldly. He convinces Little Christian that there is an easier and more pleasing way to relieve one's burden than to travel through the Wicket Gate. What ensued next reminded me of 2 Samuel 12 when Nathan told King David the story of the rich man, the poor man and the lamb. Resembling David's attitude in being ready to put the rich man to death, my boys were appalled at Worldly. "How could he say that to Little Christian," they asked. When Little Christian follows Worldly at the end of the chapter, one of my boys said, "Oh no! That can't be good. Why would he do that? WHY?"
The story definitely had them emotionally involved, so we went to 1 John 2:15, "Do not love the world or the things in the world." In discussing this, the boys were sure they did not love the world. How could they be like the characters in the book? Then, we got more specific in verse 16. "These are the evil things in the world: wanting things to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, being too proud of the things we have." We discussed in more detail what each of those statements means.
It was a comfort to me that just like Nathan had said to David, the Spirit communicated to us that "You are that man!" They began to see the point that Little Christian represents them. They began to see how easily they can stray from the path of righteousness. We continued to discuss that only God is the faithful one, only he can deliver us from temptation, and they even began to confess that they can spend too much time seeking pleasure. We ended with a time of prayer, praising God for his Word, asking him to lead us from worldliness, and thanking him for such a good story to read.