It seems to me that one of the most difficult questions serious Christians routinely face is this: What am I to do with what this world has to offer me in light of the fact that I am a child of God, destined to spend my life in a world that is anti-God? Can anything good be gained from this world. The answer to this question has produced more movements and answers within the Christian tradition than we know what to do with. Some act as if there is nothing in this world worth anything at all but the fire of judgment. Others think this world is so touched by divine grace that almost everything in it, except for the obvious sins like immorality and murder, is to be used to the max. A friend recently suggested the following maxim to me: "A humble person takes whatever there is in the world that helps him to find God and leave the rest aside."
That is not quite as strong as I would prefer it to be but it helps me a great deal. The world is fallen but Christ redeemed it (Colossians 1:15-20). The world is not a friend to grace but grace is a friend to the world. Our problem is not primarily in this world, though this world is filled with much evil. Our primary problem is in our own hearts. If we could learn to positively use what truly helps us to find God we would all be better Christians for the effort. We may disagree about the details here but at least we would all have a sense of what we were actually looking for in the process.
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