“Our Lord did not teach detachment from other things: He taught attachment to Himself. Jesus Christ was not a recluse. He did not cut Himself off from society, He was amazingly in and out among the ordinary things of life; but He was disconnected fundamentally from it all. He was not aloof, but He lived in another world.”
I got this quote out of Cynthia Heald’s latest study: Becoming a Woman of Simplicity chapter three which is entitled The World Is Too Much With Us. I have been going through this study with our church, and Mrs. Heald herself. My thoughts on the above quote and our current chapter of study are as follows.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines aloof as: “…not concerned in a design; declining to take any share; implying circumspection (caution)…” Modern definitions imply haughtiness and snobbishness as well. The difficulty for me is balancing living in a different world and not being aloof. I tend to feel superior to the world and those who are of it while, in reality, without Christ’s incredible work in my life, I would be just like one of them, if not worse.
This chapter was about not being conformed to the world, something that I don’t have as much trouble with as, perhaps, the average teenager. This did not mean, however, that I did not get much out of the chapter. In addition to the above reflection on aloofness, a passage in James 4 jumped out at me. Verse 4 says that “the friendship of the world is enmity with God”, then James goes on to explain how to be a friend of God instead. Accept God’s grace, humble yourself, submit to God, resist the devil (with God’s strength), draw near to God, cleanse your hands, purify your heart, and do not speak evil of fellow Christians. All these I strive for, and all I fall short on. I will fall short of them until I humbly surrender completely to my Savior.