June 9 - 1 John 2:15-17. The World

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9 - 1 John 2:15-17. The World

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.

Do you ever wonder why God put us in the world and made it so tantalizing and beautiful?  Why He set things before us that make us lust and be prideful?  If He loves us so much, why didn’t He just take us to heaven and allow us to live out our lives as we will when we die?

If we aren’t supposed to love the world, why does it even exist? I don’t know about you, but these things make no sense sometimes.

Then I think about the way most families raise their children.  As children, we experience bits and pieces of the world outside the safety of our home.  We get to choose whether or not to live according to the things our parents taught us.  Will we share?  Will we choose to respect authority? Will we speak only with nice words? Will we treat each other as we want to be treated?

Sure. Our parents could keep us home all the time and ensure that we obey the rules, making it easy for us to do so by providing all that we need and caring for us completely.  But, that doesn’t give us any sense of individuality or personhood away from them.  We don’t develop into people who can have a true relationship with them.

My mother insisted that we learn good table manners at home, so that when we were out in the world, we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves.  We know how to set a table properly, put the napkin in our lap, use only one hand at a time while keeping the other hand in our lap (unless of course we’re cutting something). We don’t slurp from our drinking glasses or talk with our mouths full.  We learned how to hold our utensils correctly and not to put our elbows on the table.  When we were young and ate in restaurants or at other people’s homes, these types of behavior would reflect back on my parents.  We would show the world that we were taught properly or improperly.

I believe that God loves each piece of our individuality, those parts of us that have come from the way we interact with the world.  At the same time, He did set down rules by which we should live because we are His children – not just because He said that we should do so, but because that’s how we show those around us that we are in His will.

The world is filled with things that we know better than to approach.  Our parents taught us how to live as if we were their children in the world and God teaches us how to live as if we are His children.