Do not love the world… if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
Don’t love the world. That’s the counsel of John, the writer of the letter of 1 John. James breaks it down further for us. He actually calls attention to the progression of how we fall into “world love.”
First, James tells us not to “flirt” with the world. “Friendship with the world,” he tells us is “enmity with God.” That means when we flirt with the world we are in the process of making ourselves enemies of God.
Second, he tells us not to be “stained” by the world. James 1:27 warns us to not to be “spotted” by the world. Flirting with the world leaves us stained by its influence.
Third, we are told that compromising with the world is to become “adulterers and adulteresses.” Our flirting and being stained by the world moves us into a position that can only be described as adultery. There is no “halfway” adultery. We are either faithful or we are not.
Finally, the love of the world… the “harmless” flirtation, staining touch, the adultery… leads us to defection. Paul describes a man named Demas. Demas traveled with Paul, gone on mission trips with Paul and seen the hand of God move under Paul. And yet, as Paul waited in prison, he wrote, “Demas has forsaken me… having loved this present world.” (2 Timothy 4:10)
What a sad epitaph on an otherwise faithful life. But we cannot flirt with this world and not be spotted by it… stained by it… compromised by it… and ultimately fall in love with it.
No one can investigate your heart but you… where is your heart today?
“Father, we can so easily be seduced away from our love for You. Keep our hearts in love with You so much that we will not even flirt with a world at odds with You. And may we ever be found faithful. Through Christ our Lord and the One we love, Amen.”