Are you familiar with this scene? Suddenly you enter a huge, tantalizing department store. You claim, “I am not really into things,” which is good church talk, but after a few moments in the store, your real cravings begin to show. Straight away, we see that we are really into things in a lot of ways. In the second chapter of his first letter, the apostle John says to us, “Be careful, because I want you to live for God and be a part of His body and the things that last forever.”
We can get mixed up when we say that we are going after God, but then get pulled by materialism and pride. We all need food to eat, a place to live, clothes to dress according to the local weather, and some means of transportation and communication. Taking care of our material needs in the right way is hard because we are all surrounded by many things to spend our money on. They can grab our hearts and lead us down a path of slavery.
I remember when I was a teenager and I went to the dealership to get my first new car. It was happening! There was a powerful, fully-equipped, luxurious model, but I could not afford it, so I had to settle for a less pricey one. Nevertheless, my new car was awesome, and I am still grateful for it today. When you sit down, and you smell that new car smell, it is an incredible experience. As I drove out of the parking lot of the dealership, feeling like I was the king of the world, all of a sudden, a brand-new sports car went by. One look at it and my new car just didn’t feel quite as good.
But isn’t that life? You get something and you think it is great, until you see there is a better car, a better house, a better whatever. Comparison makes us feel disappointed. We are all tempted with that. And what can happen is that sometimes we begin to chase those things instead of the Lord. The first thing John says is really clear: “Don’t love the world.”
What is at stake is not losing your salvation. It is losing your intimacy with God, your time of walking with Him and seeking Him out. Love God more. Be pleased with the things you have, but love Him more.