Growing up, I never doubted what my parents loved.
First and foremost, Dad was a pastor, so he loved doing what made him good at it. He spent hours in his office at home and at church studying the Bible, reading commentaries, praying, and listening to God.
Dad also had hobbies he enjoyed. Squirrel hunting was one. As soon as I was old enough, he bought me a small shotgun, and we began hunting. Several Saturdays during the month, we found ourselves in the woods waiting on the tree runners to appear.
Later in life, Dad took up woodworking. By the time of his death, he had become very proficient at what he did. He built items for his children and grandchildren. He even left Mom with an oak bedroom set that still adorns her room to this day.
Mom also demonstrated what she loved: music. Every church my father pastored she led the music. If she didn’t when he first went there, she would soon thereafter. It wasn’t uncommon to find her at the piano on Saturday nights practicing what she or the choir would be singing on Sundays.
John cautioned first century Christians to make it evident what they loved also. He instructed them not to love the evil world or the things in it but rather God and the things He loved.
My actions shout my priorities. They shouldn’t reflect a love for the evil world but only the world minus all its evil manifestations. I can love nature, but I shouldn’t worship it—only its Creator. I can love animals but not at the expense of other humans—or even to the degree where I place them on the same scale as another human being.
The evil world only offers physical pleasure but can’t penetrate our spiritual frame or satisfy its deepest needs. Only God can dwell there. Every person was created for a connection to the Holy and to the holy things He represents. Only when we love Him and what He loves can we be all He created us to be. Things may bring temporal enjoyment, but they’ll never bring eternal satisfaction.
Let God teach you to love the things He loves—things that are pure, lovely, true, honorable, right, excellent, and worthy of praise.
Prayer: Father, create in us a love for those things You love so that we might enjoy living life to the fullest.
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