Do You Love Where You Live?
The title of this blog is really a trick question. I’m not asking if you are in love with your home where you live. I’m not asking if you like your hometown. What I am asking you is this: Do you love what the world has to offer?
Maybe it’s that certain TV show. Or that outfit at the mall (which you know is really a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen). Maybe it’s just material stuff . Tantalizing, scrumptious looking, and as satisfying as the bite of cream puff I just took—always leaving me wanting more.
I’d like to rather daringly state that we all struggle, at times, with loving the things of this world. Maybe we want to fit in. Or we like the promises of pleasure that it tells us we’ll have. Or we’re just curious about what’s “out there.” But one thing I know for sure: We can’t love the world and love the things of God. The Bible makes that point loud and clear.
“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 desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires. But whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15–17).
In Matthew 6:24 Jesus told his followers, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
You may be able to fake your way for a little while, but eventually there will come a time when you will have to make a choice: be faithful to God or pursue the things of the world.
What’s Behind the Wall?
Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She lived on a huge estate fit for royalty and could go anywhere she liked. As she grew older, the little girl (Annie was her name) began to be more adventurous. One day Annie came upon a short, white-picket fence. Opening the latch she strolled through a breathtaking rose garden. She soon discovered there was a slightly taller gate behind the garden. This went on for several hours, Annie making her way through multiple gardens until she came to a high, imposing, wall. Not wanting to stop, she began to climb. After minutes of climbing, she placed her hands on the wall’s ledge and heaved herself up . . . and over! To her shock she found herself hurtling through the air until, SPLASH, into a pool of water she plummeted. Annie was spluttering and choking for breath when she bobbed to the surface, only to be sucked down again. Fighting her way through the current, she suddenly felt strong arms lift her up and out, and there was her dad . . . not looking pleased. But she was safe. And that’s what mattered.
Annie isn’t a real person. But her story has a point. Often we get caught up in life going from one seemingly harmless choice to the next until WHAM, we’re hit with a surprise and wonder how in the world we arrived here. Ever felt that way? I know I have! Love for earthly things can so easily take us farther than we ever wanted to go.
Avoiding Annie’s Trap
How do we keep from winding up somewhere we don’t want to be? Here are a few steps that will help you.
To God first, and then someone else. 1 John tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1:9). It’s easier to overcome and conquer with someone else by your side than just going it alone.
2. Get involved
Get involved with godly friends and/or a mentor. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20). Make sure your friends are pushing you towards godliness!
3. Fill your mind
Fill your mind with eternal things. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The apostle Paul wrote this in Ephesians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Prayer is our secret weapon as Christians! Use it!
5. Memorize Scripture
You’re going to have to replace all the junk your mind has been filled with from the world, and there’s no better thing to use than Scripture. A great place to start is 1 John 2:15–17! This verse from 2nd Timothy 3:16 is a powerful explanation of just how important knowing God’s Word is: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
You and I are on this journey together. It’s a continual process. We need to ask three questions when evaluating choices:
- Does the Bible say anything against it or any material it contains?
- Will it come between our relationship with the Lord or our relationship with others?
- Is this time well spent?
Next time you’re tempted to take a step in the direction of something the world has to offer, remember that nothing can satisfy like the love of Christ. Pursue and deepen your relationship with Him, and “the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”
Is there something specific you’ve noticed in your life that begins to push you down the road of “loving the world”?
What do you do to help keep your relationship with the Lord healthy when there are so many distractions around us?
Do you agree with the idea that if we attempt to love two opposing things at the same time, one of them will be snuffed out?
Written by Beecher Proch