Playing the harlot - Part 2
As I shared in "Playing the harlot - Part 1," I entered my 20's during the 70's when every orthodoxy about what it mean to be a woman was being challenged. The culture was being turned upside down! I was totally being shaped by the world's messages about how I should look and act, who I should become, what I should pursue, etc. Honestly? I became well-adjusted to the culture and fit right in without even thinking. Here's what Romans 12:2 says in The Message: Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix you attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
As a Christian, how could I fit right in without thinking? Because my attention was not fixed on God but on the world. I did not readily recognize what God wanted from me and quickly respond. Sure, I knew the principles of God. I knew right from wrong. I believed the Bible was the Word of God but I was totally dependent upon others to explain its meaning to me. I didn't know how to go to the Word of God for myself to understand what God wanted from me. Proper application? Hardly. I would read every Christian living book I could find on subjects relevant to my situations and circumstances. I would be touched and moved and marvel at how folks seemed to understand what God said in His Word. Who knew if they really understood! So, during this period if it sounded like truth and felt right then I embraced it as truth. More often than not what I "felt" became my truth. If it feel good, do it - right? After all, my relationship with God was all about me. All about what I wanted and needed. Of course, what I wanted and needed was based on what the world was telling me I wanted and needed.
I adopted the interests of this world as my own. I was not only being shaped by the world's way of thinking, but I was pursuing the things of the world. I was trying to live up to the world's standard for me. And, I was bringing all this into my relationship with God. When what I knew about God and what the world was telling me didn't mesh, what I "felt" won out every time. So what does any of this have to do with playing the harlot? Well, I was very, very friendly with the world. God, in His Word, says that friendship with the world is spiritual adultery. The Greek word for friendship involves the adopting of the interests of the world to be one’s own. This is what God says in James 4:4: You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. The Greek word adulteress here means one who is unfaithful toward God as an adulteress is unfaithful toward her husband. One who neglects God and their duty toward Him and yields to their own lusts and passions. Then and NOW, every time I adopt the interests of this world as my own, I'm unfaithful to God and that's playing the harlot. Every time I become friendly with the world, I yield to MY own lusts and passions. Again, that's playing the harlot.
Had I never learned how to study the Word of God for myself or taken the time to put this passage in context and understand what it means, I would have never believed or imagined that I had played or would play the harlot. I would have never see or admitted that I was friendly with the world. If the ruler of this world is satan (see "Happily Ever After"), then becoming friendly with this world means becoming friendly with the devil Himself. It means choosing to adopt the interests of the evil one above the interests of God. How could I ever become friendly with the enemy of God? It's a shocking question and this is a hard truth. One that describes me far more often than I care to admit. Why?
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13