Managing our love for the world

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Friday, February 22, 2019

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

The Fountain of Youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. For thousands of years, humanity has been fascinated and obsessed with discovering the Fountain of Youth. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted across the world for thousands of years, appearing in writings by Herodotus (5th century BC), the Alexander romance (3rd century AD), and the stories of Prester John (early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries AD). In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, First Governor of Puerto landed in Florida in his search for the Fountain of Youth.

In modern times, the vision of the cure-all fountain has been replaced by the wish for medications that can stop or reverse aspects of the aging process. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent yearly in pharmaceutical research for such medications. Yet there’s been little success in stopping or reversing aspects of the aging process.

The fact remains that we were not created to live forever. Notwithstanding our love for living in this world, every life has an expiration date. We should keep our passion for things of the world in a lesser proportion to our love for God and his kingdom.

The very first commandment given in the Bible is for God’s creation to love him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). That type of exclusive love should not be expressed for the world. Thus in today’s text, Bishop John reminds believers to restrain their love for the world.

How can we not love the world? After all, the world is our natural home and the only planet we’ve ever known. The Greek word John uses for love is agapao. It is used to indicate something with which we are too well pleased, or too contended with. In other words, John is telling believers not to love the world too much. He is not saying for people not to enjoy the world. However, he is warning us to keep our love for the world in check so that it does not prevent us from obeying the word of God or loving him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength.

To be clear, Christians should not feel guilty for loving their country or their neighborhood or their career or their home. John is not asking us to hate or be indifferent to this world. He wants us to know there is a better place that has been prepared for believers; and we should not allow our love for the world blind us to its imperfections and prevent us for setting our affection on things above (Colossians 3:2).

Some people are indifferent to God and the things of the kingdom of God because they are so enamored with this world. They don’t have time to evangelize or proclaim the word of God because they are too busy enjoying life or working to make money to enjoy life. John wants Christians to know that everything material will pass away. Therefore, we should prioritize our love for God over our love for the world.

From a practical perspective, John wants believers to have a discriminating taste as we live in the world. He does not want us to be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may approve what good, pleasing and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2) is. We have to prepare ourselves to leave this world so we can reign with God forever. Our love for God should always overwhelm our love for the world because we are heavenly beings having a temporary physical experience.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, may our love for you continue to grow as our love for the world continues to decrease.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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