Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17
Do Not Love the World
Sometimes people are hesitant to become a Christian because they think that they will miss out on a fun, enjoyable life. The words from the apostle John seem to validate those fears. He says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world.”
What does it mean to not love the world? Does that mean that if we follow Jesus, we can’t love hiking, biking, eating good food, or playing sports? Well, John himself wrote elsewhere that Jesus is the creator of all things (John 1:1-5). Jesus created the mountains that we hike. He created good food and the taste buds to enjoy it. He designed our bodies to move and compete. So, it is not wrong to enjoy the world that God made and all that is in it.
But John warns against loving the things of this world too much or in the wrong way. That’s what he means by the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” God does not want us to crave those worldly blessings more than God himself. Nor does he want us to use his blessings in ways that are contrary to God’s design.
What’s so dangerous about loving this world too much? Because, he says, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” God doesn’t want us to get so connected to perishable things that die with them. Instead, he wants us to love our relationship with him more than anything—a relationship made possible by the saving work of Jesus. He valued his relationship with us so much that he was willing to die for it. May we value it so much that nothing in this world is worth losing it.
Lord Jesus, help me not to give my ultimate allegiance to the things that are perishing. But lead me to love and cherish you above all else. Amen.