“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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
Have you ever really, really wanted something that you really shouldn’t have?
Perhaps there wasn’t anything exactly wrong about possessing the thing you wanted it’s just that at this point in your life it costs too much to be responsibly afforded. Or maybe it would require too much time and attention and, regardless of how much you want it, you just don’t have the time to responsibly care for it. And then again, maybe what you want is not just frivolous, or irresponsible, it’s just flat illegal and immoral and you shouldn’t ever want it.
Which ever scenario fits your situation best, I think it’s safe to say, we’ve all had wants that it would have been best that we’d never had.
When I was in college I was wandering around a shopping mall and came across a large Japanese style dagger. This wasn’t one of those pieces of cheap costume weaponry. It was a 14 inch knife made from hardened steal. And while it was unsharpened, it could be sharpened, and I was assured that it would hold an edge.
I wanted that knife.
I didn’t need the knife. Come on, who really needs a knife like that?
I couldn’t afford the knife. The seventy-five bucks they were asking for it would take me months to save up.
But still I wanted that knife. So I saved up my money and I bought it.
That knife has never been of any use to me. And because I don’t have the matching sword it’s not even a good decoration. It was a complete waste of money.
So much of what we love in the world is like my love for that knife. A waste. Some other things are even worse; they’re dangerous. That’s why John warns us to not love the world. What God is leading us to will take us far from the things that a love for the world will lead us to. Indulging a love for the world will only bring greater trial as God separates our hearts from the sin that infects us and bonds our lives to his.
This world is passing away. It’s best to not burden our lives with things that are temporary. Far better to invest ourselves into something that’s enduring. Like a life with God.