“This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)
This pericope comes in the context of a teaching on marriage and sexual immorality. Apparently these were major concerns of the Christians at Corinth. Considering their pagan past these were also sources of temptation, sin and dysfunctional social relations. A lot of time and energy were wasted on worrying about such matters to the point that the work of God’s Kingdom was being neglected. Paul wanted the saints at Corinth to know the truth, put it into practice and move on to focus their attention not on self, but on what was important. This was not only because of the intense persecution which was going to come their way but also because worldly matters, concerns of the flesh, no matter how good or neutral would no longer be of concern in the Kingdom of God.
Like the people of the first century Roman Empire, our present society is overly concerned with sex and sexual relations as well as material prosperity, pleasure and happiness as if the pursuit of such was the greatest and most desirable activity, deserving of all our attention, energy and anxiety. Even we who are believers get caught up with these worldly concerns and issues to the point that our lives are focused on them and not on the Kingdom of God. While the Lord cares about our concerns for health, life and relationships, such ought not to be the main focus of life. We should not let concerns for fame, sex and pleasure eclipse humility, charity, and the spread of the gospel. The Lord has called us to express love and compassion to all men. The need of those who do not know Jesus, those who are on their way to an eternity in hell, far outweigh our worldly concerns and pursuits. Only As we trust Him for all things will we be able to glorify Him in every aspect of life.