Lesson 11: Swank

Answer. . . . that I should renounce . . . the pomps and vanity of this wicked world.

When God made this world, he made it “very good” {Genesis 1, 31); and he made man and woman very good. But ever since the devil was turned out of heaven he has been doing his best to make people think that this world, and all the good and lovely things in it, are more important than God; as it were, weighing down scales in people’s minds. (St Matthew 4, 8-10 tells you what Satan has done to the world, and how our Lord answered him.)

“Pomps” used tb mean “processions,” in which people dressed up; it now means just “swank,” “showing off.” It is right to wear nice clothes; but it is wrong to think they are more important than any thing else.

Money in itself is not bad, and can do much good; but it becomes a “pomp” if its owner thinks it the most important thing in life.

“Vanity” means “emptiness”; and when you remember that you can’t take with you into the next life anything that this world gives you, you realize that all things which are only worldly things are “empty” {St Luke 12, 15-21).

God has a right to the first place in your heart, because you are made to live for him now and to be happy with him for ever hereafter. God wants you to be happy in this world - to have good friends, perhaps to like dancing and playing games and going to the pictures and reading and listening to music, perhaps to have good health, perhaps to have money.

But God wants you to remember that none of these things last for ever; and that all his blessings are chiefly sent to help you to reach heaven.

If it comes first in your mind (and it is always trying to, because of the devil),


“Renounce” it; “refuse to follow or be led by” it. Keep God first. Then everything will be O.K. But if you don’t, everything will be Orl Wrong.