This World Passes Away

(photo source)

I was talking with my niece and she mentioned MOA, and I asked, “MOA?”, not sure what it was, to which she answered with a frown, for a second bewildered, “Mall of Asia?” She was telling and asking me at the same time, quite surprised why on earth didn’t I know.

I understand her momentary surprise because she knew me to be a shopaholic both here and abroad, but those days are gone and the year that the Lord partially healed me, I spent it wholly in attending crusades and not in malling for hours on end.

I admit I felt embarrassed for a moment then quickly checked myself. Why should I know about it? So what if I were not familiar with it? So what if I hadn’t seen it? Did it matter?

In the Philippines, small and a third-world country as it is, malls are mushrooming and have overflowed even into the islands and provinces. They have become bigger, more modern, and the myriad offerings are a real feast to the never-satiated appetite of the earthly being.

I’m not crusading against malls. What I’m concerned of is this: if a Christian is not vigilant, he/she could easily get entrapped into the web of materialism, for the more one feasts one’s eyes on the delectable goodies these giant malls carry, the more one is lured into covetousness. And once covetousness has surreptitiously infiltrated one’s being, one is already the world’s and not Christ’s.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1 Cor. 2:12)

In our country, malling is a popular pastime of the rich and of the rest. They seem to derive so much pleasure in it. Some people delight in stimulating their senses with these worldly goods, feeding their huge, seemingly insatiable appetites to have more and they can’t seem to stop. I know because this used to be my pastime, too, my source of intense pleasure.

My husband, and sometimes with the kids, goes to the mall to buy some necessary stuff. In rare occasions, Tim would like to have a few rides in the amusement center or they would eat in a fast-food if the kids have gone hungry. But always, they wouldn’t stay there long. No, our whole family doesn’t go malling and spending the day shopping, eating and roaming around posh shops, looking glamorous and feeling giddy with all the sights that abound. But then, so what if we didn’t? So what if we weren’t “in”?

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom. 12:2)

or,

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Rom. 12:2 NLT)

Even if these worldly pleasures are missing in our lives, we can enjoy life fully in the Lord Jesus Christ. So, continue to seek His face and turn to His light. Delight in Him even in the simplest things that we do: setting up a family or kids and their friends picnic in the yard, spreading a mat in the terrace (or on the roof ?) in a starry, summer night and tracing the stars with the kids, gardening, visiting a flower and animal farm, giving the kids baking lessons, reading, learning musical instruments, swimming, and other summer fun activities with the kids that need not be expensive.

(Photos taken by Hannah).

Let us not be weary in teaching and showing our children to be Christlike and to be watchful of those things that may teach, show and lead them to be covetous and worldly.

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)

Related: Oh, the Joy!

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My gratitude list – thankful to the Lord Jesus for:

  • using disappointments and discouragements to draw me closer and deeper into His love and light.
  • instantly healing Hannah of her stomachache after prayer and laying of hands the night before their school’s awarding ceremonies.
  • the pure joy of watching Tim sing in the Cherubim’s Choir and do their choreographed actions.
  • His light upon us as my husband and I helped my beloved mother in resolving a family problem.
  • my mother’s tears of gratitude to Him for showing her His love and care. The Lord comforts and looks after the widows and the fatherless!

Comments

  1. Tereasa says:

    As I’m sure you know, “hanging out at the mall” is a favourite past time in North America. I don’t remember when, but at some point my husband and I realized what it was doing to us. Covet is the exact word we used. It’s almost impossible to go to the mall without spending money and it’s usually spent on something you didn’t even know you “needed” or “wanted” beforehand. I am thankful that we now have “Smart Centres” popping up. They are similar to the strip malls (a strip or block of stores) that were popular a few decades ago. A grouping of stores around one parking lot is a lot less tempting than a barrage of open front stores screaming at you to come explore. My absolute favourite ways to shop, however, are in small family owned businesses and at farmer’s markets.

    Interesting thoughts! Thanks for sharing.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Dear Tereasa, what you say is true. And yes, I also like small, family-owned specialty shops where one can conveniently stop by. Such shops that sell freshly-baked bread, fruit preserves, crafting kits and the like. I also dream of having a Farmer’s market close to our community.

  2. Alida says:

    we don’t have any malls here in Belize…at first it made me sad. But, after a year and half here we are truly taking joy in simple pleasures and enjoy visiting local merchants, taking walks and enjoying nature. So different from our life in the US!

    • RinaPeru says:

      That’s wonderful, Alida! I can imagine your pure delight in enjoying simple, grace-filled life away from the hustle and bustle of a busy world. You’re blessed! Take care!

      Rina

  3. What a great reminder that we don’t have to do something just because everyone else is. And a helpful reminder that our kids don’t always need the hustle and bustle of schedule activities. Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. bettyl says:

    Sometimes, being a Christian seems like a whole different world than the one we live it, but that’s ok. We live for Him not the world! Great post

    • RinaPeru says:

      That’s exactly it, Bettyl! Although we are in the world, we don’t live as the world lives. As the Bible says, “Be ye separate”. BTW, I’ve visited your sight and I love your beautiful photos! God willing, I hope that we could visit your country someday.

  5. Charlotte says:

    The world has many enticing things to offer. You are wise to teach your children there are much more important things in life than hanging out at the malls.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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