Right Perspective

Series: Love and War | Week 3: Still Standing

Read 1 John 2:15-16 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

1. What are we told to not love?
2. What does the world offer?
3. If we love these things, what does that indicate?

Today’s verses can be confusing without context of what John meant by the phrase “love this world.” Throughout Scripture, we’re told to love the world like Jesus does, treating every person with dignity and value. On the flip side, we’re told to not love what the material world offers or make it ultimate in value. To live for anything in this world – food, money, sex, temporary pleasure – is worldliness. This is what John warns against.

We’re all saturated in this world. There’s so much to love about it, yet so much to guard against, which can make it easy for us to swing to one extreme or another. Legalistic Christianity reduces faith to behaviors, which just leads to cynicism, burnout, or pride. Progressive Christianity says to be true to yourself. This leads to a slippery slope of ignoring sin.

What should be our perspective and attitude of the world? We should love people like Jesus did (John 3:16-17), while seeking first God’s kingdom above temporary pleasures (Matthew 6:33). When we keep this perspective, we can love without becoming consumed by the world.

When it comes to loving the world, would you say you lean more toward loving people like Jesus did or more toward worldliness that focuses on loving temporary things?
Do you ever find yourself in one of the two extremes: legalistic Christianity or progressive Christianity? How does it manifest itself?
When it comes to “a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything you see, and pride in your achievements and possessions,” which of these is most likely to take the place over God in your life? What safeguards or accountability could you set up to begin shifting this stronghold?

Pray through these questions, and write down what God is prompting you to do next. Share with a friend, and take a step to apply it.

Love and War