Loving God and not the world
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 everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2:15-17 CSB
We saw previously that John distinguishes clear cut boundaries between right and wrong, light and dark, love and hate. Continuing with that strong stance of truth, John challenges the believers to “not love the world or the things in the world.” The word for the world is “kosmos,” which, in context, refers to the values of the world, not the literal creation. John says that if “anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” We cannot love the world and God at the same time, because the world is opposed to God. We can see this also in James 4:4, “You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God.” John goes into particular areas of mankind to validate this point of the world’s opposition to the Father. First, the “lust of the flesh,” meaning the sin nature in every man and woman. Second, the “lust of the eyes,” meaning the desire that entices us towards our sin. There are multiple instances where the lust of the eyes have caused people to stumble, such as Eve in the garden, looking upon the forbidden fruit (Matthew 5:28) or David looking at Bathsheba while she was bathing (2 Samuel 11:2). Third and final one is the “pride in one’s possessions,” relying on our own material possessions rather than relying on God and acknowledging His blessings. All these desires do not come “from the Father, but is from the world.” And in the end, “the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” To chase after the world’s desires may seem appetizing for a time, but in the end, it will fade away. What will last forever, on the other hand, is your relationship with God. We are not advised to abandon the world but instead to keep ourselves from a love of the world, for love of the world cannot co-exist side by side with our love for God.
Isaac De Guzman