One more thing on 1 John 2 before we move on to chapter 3. John tells us what to love - God and people - and what not to love. The Message puts it well: "Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him."
"The world" used in this way refers to the whole system that tries to run things apart from God: what is valued, what is avoided, how people look for life apart from God. Loving those ways keep us from loving God - and also keep us from loving people. Other people become a means to our ends.
This is more subtle than it first appears. It is easy to think that we are not "worldly" because we are not chasing fame, fashion and fortune. (And if we do, I got news for you - we're losing...). But it is easy for others to be props on our stage, and not to see them, not to value them for themselves.
The next chapter begins with maybe my favorite verse in the book " See what kind of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God - and that is what we are!" Let that simmer in your mind and heart for a while ... See what kind of love ... What kind of love is it?
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