Monday, August 18, 2014

Earthly-Mindedness -- Chapter 5

I'm continuing my look at Jeremiah Burroughs' Earthly-Mindedness.  Please see my introduction and Chapter 1 summary here, Chapter 2 summary here, Chapter 3 summary here, and Chapter 4 summary here.

In Chapter 5 Jeremiah Burroughs looks at five things that may be wrought in an earthly-minded man:
  1. His judgment may be convinced that there is a vanity in all the things of the world, but still be earthly-minded.
  2. He may have some kind of contentment in his estate.
  3. He may speak great words about the vanity of this world.
  4. He may be free from getting anything by deceit.
  5. He may despise some earthly things.
I'm not an avid shopper, and I normally go when I actually need something; but one thing that I do like is a good sale.  As he continues to describe the earthly-minded, Mr. Burroughs quickly exposes where my heart truly lies:  "What is it which most troubles your hearts?  Is it the loss of the light of the face of God or the loss of an estate?  The loss of a voyage, or the commission of a sin?  What's your chief joy?  Your profiting from the Word or gaining from a bargain?"  My trust should be in God alone, and I should rest in Him for all outward things in this world.

Each day I strive to be more spiritually-minded by reading my Bible, commentaries, & other Christian writings, listening to sermons, and writing about what I read & hear.  However, it's my thought life (those roaming thoughts when I'm not focused on something in particular) that are not captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Cor. 10:5).  While this may seem minor, I'll quote Mr. Burroughs at length to show how evil roaming thoughts can be when left unchecked:
"In worldly matters, when you are walking from here to London, you can run your thoughts on business all the way.  You can plot this and contrive that.  You can foresee this objection and that one, and you can answer each one in your own thoughts.  But let me put this to you.  When you walk through the fields, settle upon one meditation about Christ and see whether you are able to draw out that meditation the entire time you walk, whereas you can spin out an earthly meditation no matter how far your journey is.  When you awake in the night, your thoughts are upon the things of the world, and you can draw them out and work with understanding, but how about the things of God?  Oh, how barren and simple are you there!  There is scarcely anyone who can outdo you in the things of the world, but in the matters of religion you are outdone, every slight temptation overcomes you there."
It's very important that Christians align their thoughts to the things of God because Mr. Burroughs points out that "even during that time that God has set apart for Himself, you are often discoursing in your own thoughts about the business of the world.  You do it when you are praying, you do it when you are hearing the Word.  The communication and discourses of men should relish what they have heard out of the Word, not go and talk about some earthy occurrences."

In my next post for this series, we will look at seven reasons of men's earthly-mindedness in Chapter 6.

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"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there by any praise, think on these things," (Phil. 4:8).