Of course, there is no way for us to avoid being in the world. Even hermits are in the world, they just have separated themselves from others. However, Jesus did not want us to hide our light. “You are the light of the world. … your light must shine before others” – [Matthew 5:14,16]
It is easy to understand what it means to be ‘in the world’, but what does it means to be ‘of the world’? Being ‘of the world’ is belonging to the world. Some translations of the Bible translate the same text “of the world” as others translate it “belong to the world.”
So, how to keep from belonging to the world while we are in the world? “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” – [Romans 12:2] So, let us not conform ourselves to the world, but live our Christian lives in the virtues of chastity, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, temperance, and humility. If we do, we will stick out like a sore thumb or a light on a lampstand.