Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Loving the Right Things - Martin Wiles

loving the right things
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love the Father in you. 1 John 2:15 NLT

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 church studying the Bible, reading commentaries, praying, and listening to God.

Dad also enjoyed hobbies, including squirrel hunting. 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 for the tree runners to appear.

Later in life, Dad took up woodworking. By his death, he had become very proficient at it. He built items for his children and grandchildren. He even left Mom with an oak bedroom set that still adorns her room.

Mom also demonstrated what she loved: music. In every church my father pastored, she led the music. If she didn’t when he first went to the church, she did soon after that. It wasn’t uncommon to find her at the piano on Saturday nights practicing what she or the choir would sing on Sundays.

John cautioned first-century Christians to make what they loved evident. He instructed them not to love the evil world or its things 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 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 our deepest needs. Only God can dwell there. God created every person 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—the pure, lovely, true, honorable, right, excellent, and worthy of praise things.

Father, create in me a love for those things you love so that I can enjoy living life to the fullest.

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