Do not love the world or things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life - is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. - 1 John 2:15-17
Stories are an essential part of the human experience. They help us understand ourselves and the world. There are many stories we tell about ourselves. This passage in 1 John tells us that these stories are rooted in one of two premises: the story is either about us or it's about God. We can discern which story we are rooted in by examining what we love. We know what we love by looking at what we pursue. Pleasure (desires of the flesh), possessions (desires of the eyes), and vain glory (pride of life) are three pursuits rooted in stories centered on man.
The passage describes something that I believe we've all experienced. We attain some measure of pleasure, possessions, or personal glory and yet we can sense the limitations of these experiences. The limitations birth a hint of disappointment. The vague presence of disappointment in the midst of personal triumph can be disorienting. Man craves eternity and the presence of limitations is counter to this desire. These experiences reveal the truth that this world and its desires are passing away. In these moments we are aware that we are created for an eternal story and not a temporary one.
What do you love? What are you pursuing? Are you living a story centered on you or are you resting in the truth that you were once an enemy and are now called a friend? Repent and abide in Him.
- Aaron Negron