Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1John 2:15-17
At first glance, John’s instruction that we should NOT love the world might seem strange… especially when he had previously gone to great lengths to remind his readers of the defining characteristic of a Christ-follower: Love for God & love for each other. Digging deeper, however, we see he is challenging us to not align with or entrust ourselves to this world’s system – its values, practices, & ways of living. The prince of this world, the devil, draws humanity towards a life of self-indulgence, a life that runs counter to the life Christ calls us to follow. Think about it: the desires of the flesh tell us we should be able to indulge without restraint in whatever sensual craving that strikes us, without consequence for who it affects. The desires of the eyes lead us to believe we need more – more toys, more stuff, more everything… with greed, discontent, & covetousness as a result. The pride of life rejoices in a life of self-importance, tempting us to revel in our accomplishments, focusing on all we have & have done, causing us to measure ourselves against one another & missing the self-less example Christ set for us when He laid down His life that we would live.
Bottom line, John reminds us that to “walk in light & walk in love,” we have to live according to the values, priorities, & traits of the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of this world. And God says that if we love Him, we’ll His commands.
Grace, peace, & God’s blessings to you today –