“Do not get involved in the world.”
I’m sure many of us witnesses have heard that over and over especially if we grew up in the truth. We constantly listen to talks, read articles and find endless bible scriptures that encourage us to peruse God’s Kingdom first while we’re still young. Elders, mature Christians, parents and even our own friends echo the point that perusing worldly desires and worldly victories is merely just a “…chasing after the wind” (Eccl 1:14). We all hear it, but not everyone listens.
The 2017 drama, Remember the wife of Lot was definitely an eye opener. It was not only about chasing a life style that provided financial comfort, but it was also about chasing after status. Let me break it down.
Status is defined as “the relative social, professional, or other standing of someone or something”. Dictionary.com, go ahead and look it up. It lists words like level, rank, position and place.
Humans are so obsessed with being someone and doing something significant, they start to chase after a status. Sometimes it can be a question of whether someone does something out of pure and genuine interest, or if they do it for their status. Unfortunately, it happens within the truth too. We are imperfect, it is part of our imperfection and in the end we will all answer individually to Jehovah.
Anyway, there is this notion that once your status has been claimed and people recognize what you have done, that people’s recognition of what you have done is what will make you feel fulfilled. Let me just say, just because you have a Doctorate doesn’t mean you are a doctor.
(Side story: I had a Science teacher who was obsessed with his title. He’d yell at you if you called him Mr.O instead of Dr.O.)
Once you are involved, it is your status and it also becomes what is expected out of you despite it being not what you had originally thought it would be like.
The world pulls you to do many bad things. The general population knows what is wrong and what is right. This is the reason why expanding on your education becomes tricky (what I’m referring to here is going after a degree or title that requires many years). It seems right. People seem to be successful. People seem to be happy, but the inevitable truth is that they are not. Not to their full potential. I know it.
“How do you know?” You may ask. I didn’t chase after a long career. I don’t have a fancy piece of paper adding a title to my name. You’re darn right! and so far I don’t regret not having such. To answer that question, let me focus your attention back to that very first quoted sentence that I chose to open up with.
“Do not get involved in the world”
That powerful phrase has been said to me in many different forms by many different brothers, sisters, elders, and circuit overseers, during many different times growing up. Who else could possibly give such advice if they aren’t in the truth? Perhaps now you’re thinking that exact phrase was advice given to me by someone who used to be in the world but came back to the truth. Nope, not even that either.
The woman who told me those very words is an honors graduate from a fancy, well-known University with a degree in Business Administration. This woman runs in the L.A. marathon each year. She currently lives in a nice area by the beach and enjoys going running at the beach every morning. Her initial goal before college was to help others. She is very strong, goal-oriented and successful. She has an excellent job in the city and has traveled to many countries. This woman is the epitome of a strong successful independent woman who lives in one of the spotlights of the world. She is also the one who said those words to me as her best advice to me. This woman is my big sister.
I remember the night she told me this. She had spent the day with us and she was talking about work and showing me her new car that the company provides when one is the boss. Throughout the whole day, we kept talking about the deep heart-felt letters we had written to each other prior to that. I got the feeling that all day, she had been trying to think of something to tell me as though she were trying to formulate the best advice to give me that would blow me away and hopefully transform my mind.
Everything she told me, I basically agreed with but I also include bible points that I remembered along the way which further emphasized my agreement and biblical backing. This went on for a bit.
Before she left, I was in my room and she came in to say goodbye. She sat down on my bed and admitted to me that she had been wanting to tell me something that would help me grow, but that she couldn’t find the words because the answer would lie in my personal life experience. She then thought she should just tell me what the best advice could be, based on what she has gotten from her personal life experience.
Her next words were that opening sentence:
“Do not get involved in the world. If there is any way you could live that allowed you to be the furthest away from the world possible, do it and you will truly be happy; but don’t get sucked into the world.”
Just like that. She said it simple and clear. During that particular moment, I was seeing my big sister. Not the sister with a fancy title and a nice car and a polished job; but my sister.
I told her that I would gladly follow that advice because my true desires do not lie within the world. My desire lies within love for Jehovah and love for people who do the same.
“Very good. Keep that up.” She said before getting up and walking out.
I realize those words were not easiest to say, but they were the most valuable for me to hear from her.
So there you have it. Not only is it Jehovah’s people and Jehovah telling you to not be involved in the world, but it is also people in the world who are not currently with Jehovah (*swoosh* mind blow). There’s no doubt that people who have done what she has done, who have also known about Jehovah in the past, feel the same way.
If she believes that happiness is not within the world, and yet she is in the world, then I wonder where her happiness lies? I hope she realizes that it isn’t too late. Whenever she’s ready to break ties with this terrible world, we’ll all welcome her with open arms.
I haven’t given up on her and I’m sure Jehovah hasn’t either.
As for you readers (if there are even any of you out there), this is now my advice to you: Don’t get involved with the world. Whether you simply hear this advice or actually listen to it depends on you.