1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world nor the 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 lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lust; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
One of my favorite parts of auctions is the people. Everyone is so different and I enjoy interacting with them, hearing their stories and learning from their experiences. The differences, not only in looks, but also in personality are what lend a special beauty to the world around us.
Thinking back over the years I can recollect numerous memories of colorful men and women who have intrigued me, given me a good laugh, and even stretched my understanding of the English language.
It took me quite some time to figure out the answer to the question a man dressed from head to toe in fringed leather asked me a few years ago. Swaggering up to our check-in table, he leaned his lanky frame forward and asked where the nearest peach tree was located. Speechless, my mind sought to understand why this stranger to our parts would need a peach tree. Maybe the horse I imagined was tied up outside had a special taste for peaches?
After a few more leading questions I finally figured out his specific need and pointed him in the right direction for the nearest “pee tree” or bathroom as most of us would call it. What a laugh we all got!
Recently I met another man whose take on life troubled my heart. This well-dressed older gentleman approached the table during an auction. I could tell by his attire and boastful comments that he had lived the high life in all ways. As he engaged me in conversation I got a glimpse into his values that were so different from my own.
He shared some worldly wisdom he had given to his son. “Son,” he said, “when you look for a woman, look for one who has a boatload of money.” Apparently his son took him up on that advice. Thinking he must be joking I responded, “Well, there are some things worth more than money.” I was flabbergasted when shaking his head and turning to leave he said, “No, I don’t think so!”
My heart was heavy as I watched his gray head move away. His love for the world and the things in the world was obvious. He had spent his life seeking for pleasure and meaning from temporal things that don’t last. I doubted he was truly happy.
Jesus’s disciple, John, gave his spiritual children different advice. He warned them, “’Do not love the world nor the 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 lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lust; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.’”
All the glitz and glimmer that the world offers – money, fame, sex, power – play a siren song that still capture hearts and minds even today. These things can only be enjoyed for a short time, but end in pain and death. The ruler of the world’s system is opposed to God and no one can serve two masters.
The earth is inhabited with many interesting people. Love them as Jesus does, but don’t fall prey to bad advice. The world and all its pleasures will pass away, but the one who does the will of God will live forever.