Verse: 1 John 2: 15-17 MSG
15 – 17 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the worlds’ goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world – wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important – has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all of its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
Done! – the Message version pretty much wrapped it up! Ok, just kidding, I guess more is needed! That line though! “Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father” It feels pretty spot on. What does it mean to love the world though, and I think this version is really clear – wanting things, importance – for your own glory, not God’s, is the issue. It doesn’t mean that earning money is bad (we need that to live, right?), but putting earning money above God and His plans for you is a problem. Or loving money and being unwilling to give it away when He prompts you, that is an issue. Are you loving the Father enough to let His prompting guide you with the money you earn?
Do you need your own way all the time? Are you willing to be teachable and learn from others? Or is the pursuit of knowledge and being right more important than the relationships God is calling you into? Is your own importance and your image more necessary to maintain than loving your neighbor as God calls all of us to do?
You see, love for God causes our hearts to change and be broken for the things that break His heart. It causes us to see the good in our fellow humans instead of only the things that we wish we could change about them (because if we’re honest, we’re still not there with unconditional love as humans). Our love for God allows us compassion where before there would only be contempt, humility where before there would only be pride, and love for others where before there would only be hate. God’s love transforms us, so when we focus on wanting what the world says is good for us instead of what God says is good for us, we push out God’s love, and miss out on all of the things it can do in our lives.
God, thank you that your love isn’t conditional on our capacity to love your way. Please show us where we are pushing out your love for wanting things in the world. Reshape our wants to be in line with what you want for us. Help us to love you and others more fully.