Loving the World vs. Loving God

James 4.4 warns, you adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it

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again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

What does it mean to be a friend of the world? Being a friend to anyone means liking them, possibly imitating them and wanting to be their constant companion. So why does God warn us about being a friend of the world?

Most people worship the world. We celebrate it with earth day. Some surveys indicate people are more concerned with climate change leading to world destruction than abortion leading to human elimination. World love is a big deal today and if God made it shouldn’t we care for it?

Didn’t God say it was good when He made it? Indeed God did say His work at creation was good but the globe we inhabit is not His warning in today’s verse. God warns us against loving the ways of the world, the wants of the world, the objectives of the world.

The world is a euphemism for the majority opinion, for the things the masses are doing, striving for and promoting as ‘god.’ What do people want most and first? Wealth. Power. Pleasure. Control. All of these things are constantly being pursued yet so many who obtain them are destroyed by them.

The latest example is the pop star Prince. He had wealth. He had opportunities for all sorts of pleasure. He had control over his destiny. Yet he died from drug overdose. Why? Apparently loving the world didn’t satisfy his heart. This is why God warns us against loving the world.

He created us to love Him. Loving anything but the limitless God is to love an unsatisfying thing because it is limited in its power or pleasure to satisfy. The limitless God of joy, love, peace, pleasure, beauty is the only One Who can consistently satisfy our deepest longings for those things. These are the real things we want and need but often become confused about believing the crowd that money, sex and titles will give us those things.

They never do and those who pursue those things for the things only God can truly give us, often wind up broken and destroyed by those very things they thought would bring them what they were truly after.

Being a friend of God, loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength is the means toward the limitless ends of love, peace and joy.

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