Scripture: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15 NKJV)
Observation: World. Gr. kosmos, the “world,” considered as an orderly arrangement of things or people (see on Matt. 4:8; John 1:9). In the NT kosmos often represents the ungodly multitude, alien and hostile to God, or worldly affairs that lead away from God. John uses kosmos more than 100 times in his writings, and more than any other NT author. In most instances he conveys a picture of the world as being alien and hostile to God and in opposition to His kingdom. This usage may reflect concern for false teachings that later developed into Gnosticism, with its dualism, its belief in the struggle between darkness and light, between matter and spirit, between the Demiurge and the true God (see Vol. VI, pp. 54-57).
Accordingly, when John bids his readers, “Love not the world,” he is not thinking of the earth as it came from the hand of the Creator, but of earthly elements, animate and inanimate, that Satan has marshaled in rebellion against God. John knows how attractive these can appear, and bids Christians to beware of them and to resist their seductive power. Hatred for the world of sin will not prevent the Christian from trying to help the sinner; rather it will enable him the more effectively to love the victim of sin. God Himself is our example in this respect (John 3:16). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (641). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]
Application: Look in the typical child's room and you will see a toy box or a closet filled with "stuff". And, yet, that same child will tell you that they have nothing to do. We have flooded our children with material possessions. There is little need for imagination and creativity these days with children spending the majority of time in a day "plugged" into some electronic gadget. The more we buy, the more they want as the newness seems to wear off in a short time. Children tire easily and as they grow and change, so do their likes and dislikes. That toy that they begged and pleaded you for a couple of weeks ago is now thrown into the back of their closets and forgotten. That electronic gadget that they had to have last month has now been replaced by a newer up to date model that has now been added to their ever growing list of "wants".
Why not give your child gifts that can be renewed over and over again by their use For example, art sets, wooden building blocks, scraps of cloth, containers of buttons, marbles, etc. Or, what about encouraging your child to start a collection of rocks, bark, dried flowers, or leafs. A nature collection is one that can last a lifetime and who knows, you may end up also starting a new hobby or encouraging a budding naturalist.
Take an inventory of your child's possessions. What unintended lesson might you be teaching? Is there an adjustment that you need to make? Is there a new direction that you can encourage your child to go in?
And, as parents are we guilty of being bad role models? Do we also rush out to buy the latest version of the iPhone or the big screen television set? Do we buy a new car when the old one still runs great? Are our own priorities in material goods? If so, it is no wonder that our children display the same behavior. So, as we take inventory of our children's possessions let's first inventory our own. After all, our little ones will see value in the same things that we treasure. Does our treasure chest as a family contain more things of this earth than it does heavenly treasures? Look in the mirror before looking at them.
A Prayer You May Say: Lord, help me as a parent to model behavior that I want my children to emulate. Help me to show them that the greatest wealth is in knowing and loving You!
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.