“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, bur are from this world. And this world is. fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” (1 John 2:15-17 NLT).
It can be quite easy to get distracted by what this world has to offer. There’s so much competition to be better than, more of, to rise above, to humble brag, etc. Marketing and advertising isn’t just for TV and radio, it has seeped into our every day life by simple conversation and social media. It isn’t just to sell us something, it’s to show us how to live better, be better, do better, have better by doing a, b, or c. Sure, often it is to buy a product, but just as often it’s clever videos from “every day people” telling us that we aren’t measuring up because we aren’t doing or buying what they have. They want us to drink the Kool-Aid and like it, even though it’s made with rusty water and no sweetener. Packaged pretty and photo-shopped to look spectacular, it’s the best there is! This is only the material side of things.
Then there is the side we really need to be wary of, the “wellness” and “total health” packages. This comes in many forms – the way to eat, the way to exercise, meditate, practice mindfulness, self-care, natural living. Wrapped up in a pretty bow chock full of examples, tips and how-to’s on achieving maximum spirituality and wholeness.
None of the above are necessarily bad in and of themselves when filtered through the lens of Christ and held loosely in our hands. We must always be ready to serve where the Spirit leads us, go where He sends us, speak what He tells us, and do what He desires of us. If we are wrapped up in being the “best version of our self” and not “being the best version of our self-less” we will fall victim to the vapid worldliness we see so much of today. By holding all things loosely, we say to the world and to Papa that we know where our priorities are, where our focus needs to be.
As Papa’s children, we do not need to compete with each other. He created us as unique individuals who, when partnered together and with Him, combine to advance His kingdom, overcome adversity, reach the lost and least and usher in His glory and power. The devil wants nothing more than to distract us from fulfilling our destiny and if we aren’t careful, he will fill our hands, hearts, minds, and houses with stuff that has no eternal meaning.
Be careful, little eyes, what you see.
Be careful, little ears, what you hear.
Be watchful, be vigilant, that roaring lion is roaming about. But Papa is greater, and greater is He in us, than he in the world.