Chancellor's Challenges: Loving the World
In finishing the cutting of our two acres of grass by push mower (the lawn tractor is in the shop), I was relishing in the delight of being able to work and see the lawn neatly trimmed and the brilliant yellow of the forsythia bushes in my periphery. And I reflected on how much I love the world that God has made. I love flowers and plants. I love talking to people about what is important; I am amazed at the uniqueness of each human being; I love stones and building with them; I love snow and the heat of summer and the changing colors of leaves and the newness of spring. I marvel at what man has made – tall buildings, cut diamonds, marble countertops, and lawn tractors. I am enthralled by cumulus clouds, squirrels scampering up the trees, the bullfrogs croaking. I love the world that God has made.
I was taken aback by my reading this morning from 1 John, and the words: “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world.”
“Uh-oh.” What can that possibly mean? Am I wrong to love what God has made for us to enjoy?
Then I read a bit farther and it all made sense. John clarifies what he means by the “world” by stating that it is the lust of the flesh (I want it to please ME and MY senses!), the lust of the eyes (I want it to be MINE!), and the boastful pride of life (I love it because it makes ME look great!).
So when my love of the things that God has given are not accepted as an undeserved gift, but rather as something that is MINE and for ME and MY glory, they become distorted and distractions from what I was made for – to love God and live for His honor and glory. That means that my house, my car, the money I earn, my abilities, the flowers I plant to enhance the landscape of our home – ALL are His anyway and I get to enjoy them and use them for His good and the furtherance of His work here on earth!
Enjoy today! It is God’s gift to you. Enjoy your books, your food, and your comfy slippers. Marvel at man’s ability to create the technology to communicate even during a pandemic. But treat them all as God’s good and yet undeserved gifts that are designed for your use to further His kingdom! Be overwhelmed at His kindness!