1 John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
We enjoy the game of golf and other forms of recreation like fishing or hunting. We must, however, be wary not to allow ourselves place our “love” on anything of the world. Most will acknowledge God as the great creator of all things. He created the lush fairways, manicured greens and pristine clubhouses. One day, however, these creations will be no more. Our desires and love are to be reserved for the things of above.
God wants us to enjoy life and all of His creation. The problem arises when our love of these things trumps our love and dedication toward Christ. The more we love the world, the less affection is available in the pie chart for Him. There is very little good in this world through which we are merely passing. When we acknowledge the evil of this world and the lack of good, we further realize the corruption of our flesh and how the world feeds our lusts. Our satisfaction is minimal and fleeting with everything contained in the world. Consider our desire to obtain new cars, new homes, or even new spouses. The things we thought we were missing are soon further evidenced by the lack fulfillment in our new acquisitions.
Golf is a great game to get outdoors and enjoy our friendships. However, many unfortunately love his or her form of recreation to such a degree as to forsake their church, jobs, family and all other responsibilities. In his book “Stop Loving The World”, the English minister William Greenhill warned “we should not love the world because that is neither the end of our creation nor the end of our redemption; rather, it crosses the purpose of both.” Our life here in this world is to foster a relationship with God through Christ and proclaim His saving grace to a lost people. If we allow anything or anyone to come between this relationship and mission, we set ourselves up for ruin with a misplaced emphasis.
The love of the world is not a new concept developed because of our modern technology and “cool toys.” Greenhill wrote, “Israel fed on ashes (Isa. 44: 20) and Ephraim fed on the wind (Hosea 12: 1); they chased vain things, false worship, traditions, inventions of men, and things of this nature. Men and women feed on poor, low things.” The treasures of the believer are not to be placed on anything of this world – not our cars, our houses, or even our families. In Matthew 6:20, we are told, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” The things of the world we value today will be of naught tomorrow.
The things of the world give us great means and avenues to spread the gospel in many ways which were never contemplated generations ago. Today, we can instantly send messages of encouragement across the world and post our testimony for millions of people to read. Greenhill wrote, “Use the world for your necessities, to further your journey to heaven, to further your accounts before God. But do not abuse it, do not love it. The time is short.”
Let us strive to have a more dedicated love for Christ this year. Let us come to the realization that increased wealth, lower golf scores, or new material goods will do nothing to promote our joy. Let us use the start of this new year to “give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure: for if [we] do these things, [we] shall never fall” as written in 2 Peter 1:10.