Do not love the world …

How is the integration of the Word of God into your life going? Have you been able to make progress in putting on the armor of God at the beginning of your day? Have you noticed that you have needed that armor?

This week we recall John’s counsel: “Do not love the world nor the things of the world . . .” (1 John 2:15). But we do love the things of this world.  Why shouldn’t we?  Didn’t Paul teach that all things are to be received as good and blessings with thanksgiving?

Sure, but receiving what is given with gratitude and as a good steward (not owner) is different than loving (i.e., losing your life for the sake of) those things. It’s also important to notice as we keep listening to John that a logical explanation follows: “. . . 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 of the world. AND the world is passing away” (1 John 2:16-17). Why not sacrifice our life (the essential one, the life of the soul) for the things of this world? Because they are passing away and lust is insatiable.

The more we recognize that relationships with God and with others is where life, joy, peace, and contentment are to be found, the more alert we are to live free of the lust of material things. No one standing in a shallow pool is interested in a life preserver, but they can move about freely and are able to eagerly help those who are faltering. We don’t struggle against others for the same life ring; rather we share with others the blessedness of life lived in the abundance provided by the Rock of our salvation.

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