Do Not Love the World

by Scarlett Stough

Before Eve ate of the tree which God said they were to not eat, she looked, craved, and desired the “wisdom” the serpent, the deceiver, told her she would gain by eating it. We are not so different today. We want “what the heart wants.” But we want to gain our desires the easy way; we want a shortcut to wealth, popularity, or power.

John exhorts those who are “in Christ”:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17

Notice what the devil used to tempt Eve:

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:4-5

Notice Eve's response:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Genesis 3:6

God intends for us to have wisdom, but to gain that wisdom with his guidance. God gave them (and us) authority to manage the resources of his Creation. God gave them the pleasure of a beautiful garden with all they needed. They chose to follow their cravings rather than the instructions of their Creator. They set in motion a world which loves things and pleasures more than God.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
2 Timothy 3:1-5

How can we avoid falling into this trap? Timothy is advised:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-8

Jesus taught:

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'what shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:31-34

But the true wisdom is Jesus who was hung on a tree, foolishness to the ungodly, but God’s wisdom given for us. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).