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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Anne Robertson

Sunday, February 27

Do not love the world or the things in the world.
—1 John 2:15

This is one of those verses that you don’t want to take too literally. John doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t love Creation or care about our family or job. I think this is John’s way of reminding us of when Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” It is a warning about idolatry. He is saying, don’t give yourself over to such concern for the things of the world that it replaces your love for God.

This can happen very easily, especially around issues of property. How often have we acted in less than loving fashion towards someone for small offenses against something we own? The mud on the carpet, breaking the vase, crashing the computer. And of course greater offenses to our property cause greater responses. We file lawsuits and criminal charges. Sometimes we lash out ourselves, returning hate for hate, sin for sin.

We can also become attached to our roles in institutions and organizations, even in the families that we inhabit. We need to be needed, need to be validated, need to be in control so much that we step on others to keep our roles intact. Love of neighbor is violated. All of this stems from loving the world more than we love God and forgetting that the things of this world are just tools to help us learn to move into a larger reality.

The bad news is that, at least in my own life, when I have allowed something to take God’s place in my life and have refused God’s nudges to change, I am left empty-handed. Possessions and positions are destined to change; my idolizing them will not ensure their permanence, it only ensures my feeling miserable.

The good news is that God has never condemned me in the process. God has loved me through it all, has helped me get back on my feet, and has given me a new start.


Creator God, help me to love you first and foremost. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.