From The Christian’s Daily Walk
In the excerpt below, Scudder says below that worldliness has taken the upper hand in our meditations when the following thoughts enter our minds:
- Our first thoughts concern our worldly affairs.
- Our spiritual thoughts are interrupted or cut short by worldly thoughts.
- Our principle thoughts are worldly.
- We spend more time thinking about worldly matters than spiritual matters.
- Our principle concerns of our worldly business are self- and carnally-focussed (rather than having concerns about spiritual ends).
You may know that your mind is distempered with worldliness (even in thinking on lawful business) when you prepare yourself to prayer (and at other seasons) by these marks:
- When (except in a case of necessity in their apparent danger) your worldly affairs are first in your thoughts to be the matter of your meditation. For thoughts how to hallow God’s name, how his kingdom may come, and how you may do his will, should usually be in your mind before those that concern your daily bread.
- When [your worldly affairs] interpose themselves, interrupt, and jostle out those good thoughts whereon you were thinking, before you have thought of them sufficiently.
- When your thoughts of worldly business are with greater intention of mind than the thoughts of things spiritual and heavenly.
- When they last longer than such as immediately concern the glory of God and the good of your soul: or hold you too long upon them.
- You may know [worldliness] by the ends which you propose to yourself in your thoughts of worldly business: [when those ends] are only, or chiefly, that you may prevent poverty or that you may satisfy your natural desires. If you propose not other, and [especially] more spiritual ends, your thoughts of them at that time are worldly. But if your thoughts of your worldly business be to the end that you may lay them to the rule of God’s word, that you may not offend him in your labour and care about them, or that you might crave God’s direction and blessing upon your said care and labour, then you [are] being spiritual in thoughts of worldly business: your thoughts of lawful business are [in that case] not distempered with worldliness.