Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. (1 John 2:15-16 NLT)
Some people think that worldliness is limited to external behavior—the people we associate with, the places we go, the activities we enjoy. Worldliness is also internal because it begins in the heart and is characterized by three attitudes: (1) craving for physical pleasure—preoccupation with gratifying physical desires; (2) craving for everything we see—and accumulating things, bowing to the god of materialism; and (3) pride in our achievements and possessions—obsession with one’s status or importance. When the serpent tempted Eve (Genesis 3:6), he tempted her in these areas. Also, when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, these were his three areas of attack (see Matthew 4:1-11).
By contrast, God values self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. It is possible to give the impression of avoiding worldly pleasures while still harboring worldly attitudes in one’s heart. It is also possible, like Jesus, to love sinners and spend time with them while maintaining a commitment to the values of God’s Kingdom. What values are most important to you? Do your actions reflect the world’s values or God’s values?
Just last evening I caught myself boasting about my achievements. A friend asked what I was doing these days, so I packed out and told how well I am doing. All those bad habits were back in a flash. As I sit and ponder this scripture, it dawns on me that I never told my friend that I met God. I can boast about all the other things, but the most significant event I don’t talk about. What’s more, one should guard against bad habits. I thought it would be okay to boast about my worldly success to my close friend; it’s not. We should practice good habits and not do that.
How many people do you know have got themselves in deep trouble craving and chasing physical pleasure? I am guilty, are you? It can lead to all sorts of consequences. Divorce, disease and unwanted pregnancy to name a few. Some of us don’t even realize the hurt and scars we cause. It’s much easier just to avoid the lust. But we think that going out with lots of people is cool when it’s not. It can have devastating consequences. So young people guard yourself.
God values self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. Read the last paragraph again. Memorize these principles it will add to your life.
“Lord, I pray to be like Jesus, to love sinners and spend time with them while maintaining a commitment to the values of Your Kingdom. Lord I pray this for all people. In Jesus name. Amen.”