Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s 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 its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 1 John 2:15-17 (MSG)
Traditional translations say “Don’t love the world or anything in the world. If you love the world you don’t love God.” Wow! That’s extreme! I do love this world – its beauty, my family and friends, my life. Didn’t God create it all to be good?
Sometimes Scripture uses radical statements to get our attention. Or maybe we lose something in the translation from Greek to English. The Message paraphrase helped me better understand this one.
We are surrounded by messages promoting the world’s values. This product will make you happy and you deserve happiness. Don’t risk your personal comfort, security or safety. You control your future. Power is success. More money and more things will satisfy your restlessness.
None of these are from God. Buying in to these values squeezes out the kind of love God promotes. This lifestyle isolates you from Him. We are created with a God-shaped hole in our souls that remains restless until we fill it with Him. Only God can satisfy and bring us lasting joy, not the world’s ways.
I personally know this to be true. I have turned to many things in search of happiness, but only in the past few years have I found real joy. My relationship with God fills me up. He loves and forgives me. His guidance gives me purpose. My strength comes from Him. I pray that you, too, satisfy your restlessness with Him.