“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.”
I John 2:15 NKJV
Loving a world that is slipping away.
I can remember when I loved the world. My emotions rose and fell based on what I could acquire of value according to the world. I went about seeking status from stuff I had, stuff I believed and the people I associated with.
When I compared my life and experiences to the standards of the world I felt great as I considered myself ahead of the curve. I especially marveled when I did something, or acquired something before it became popular.
As time went by, the world began to speed up and values were quickly changing. What was popular one moment, was not the next. I also began to notice that there seemed to be a degradation as the values became more base. I was shocked as people I knew were willing to do things that were taboo just a short time before.
I tried to keep pace for a time, but my innermost feelings could not be put aside. The morality of my parents was hardwired into me. That moral wiring that governed how I operated could not be adjusted. Suddenly the people of the world I lived in began to turn on me. I wasn’t “with it” anymore. My life was filled with mocking. I was bullied and rejected. I opted to do life alone.
Finally God came calling. He began to send people into my life who represented His value system. It was so different than that of the world. I just admit that I was not very receptive at first. There was still part of me that desired to be like everyone else.
My transformation began when I encountered people who were so damaged by the world’s values that they were mutated from what is normal. Encounters with them began to cause damage in me. There was no peace, no joy, and a constant sense that I was an enemy of God.
The people God sent into my life were like a lifeline to me. I could see a difference in them and a stability. They did not preach at me, or scold me, they simply loved me. Finally I heeded the draw of the Holy Spirit and came to Jesus.
Internal turmoil, gave way to peace, the shaking became unshakable. God had moved in and had began to transform me from within. As I began to love the things of God, the world became so ugly to me. I couldn’t imagine why people would seek after a world sliding to the abyss and say no to such a great salvation.
My surrender to Jesus has brought much more mocking, the difference is I am in Him and have the power of the Holy Spirit who gives me the power to endure and confirms Himself daily in me daily. As I have grown in the faith I am accurately aware of the hold of sin in a life.
I remember an encounter with a childhood acquaintance who had fallen on hard times. He had become a chronic alcoholic and walked the streets of the neighborhood in a stupor.
One day he asked me for some money. I offered the Gospel instead. Almost before the name Jesus left my lips, his face changed as he quickly snapped, “Nope” and turned and walked away. He was more satisfied with his constant state of drunkenness than the prospect of salvation. He loved his sin even though it was destroying him.
Such is the world. Frequently I encounter people who profess to be christian, but love none of the things of God. They say they believe but God is not in them. They have embraced the world. Worse they have sought to redefine what it is to be a Christian. Sadly there are entire denominations that are going this way, stating that they are progressive. In reality they are slipping into oblivion.
I fight daily to love the things of God, hate the values of the world, yet love the people Jesus came to save. It is a constant walk on a tight rope as I seek to “love the sinner and hate the sin.” It is so easy to just hate.
My constant prayer is to see people as Jesus does, that I would be sensitive to the souls needing salvation and not put off by the behaviors I see. Sinners are going to sin. Believers need to love and share the truth. We need to tell them about a loving God who is also just.
Lord help me to love!