15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love (toward) of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
Can you think of some of the most well known pairs of opposites in the world? For example, black and white, day and night, hot and cold. The author John loves to use opposites in his writing. Some that we have talked about already are light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death, love and hate. A new set of opposites that John introduces in verse 15 is love of the world and love of God. Even if you don’t know what they mean, John makes it pretty clear that they are extremely different from each other. People either have a love of the world or a love of God—there is no in-between.
So what do these two things really mean? Is the world itself evil and opposite of God? No! God created the world, and even declared it and all of His creations as “good” in Genesis 1:31. However, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden and brought sin into the world, something awful happened. Evil infiltrated God’s perfect world. So even though the world itself isn’t bad, sin has distorted the goodness of the world so that evil pervades it. Or in other words, the world is now filled with Satan’s lies. Satan has tried to convince the world to have new values and a new way of order. John says that these ways and values of the world are exactly opposite of the values and ways God gives us!
But fortunately, once you become a Christian and put your faith in the hope that Jesus has already defeated sin and the ruler of this world, God Himself puts love for Him and His ways inside our hearts. If you are a Christian, you can be encouraged that God gives you a love for Him that is in complete opposition of a love for this world, even if we continue to be tempted by the world’s values.
Questions for reflection and discussion
1. Can you think of a way “love for the world” is opposite to “love for God”?
2. Which of the world’s values are tempting to you? How can the love of God help you resist the temptation?
Dear God, thank you for creating a good world for us. Help us remember to love the creator more than we love Your creation and to resist the temptations of the world. Amen.