A while back, a movie came out called Fatal Attraction. It was a story about a married man who found himself attracted to another woman. He gave into temptation and slept with her. He probably assumed this would be quite short lived, but to his surprise, he found himself trapped in an affair that threatened to destroy his entire life.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why are we attracted to the very things that can destroy us? Do you think it's because we are extreme risk takers? Does the excitement and danger or the allure of the forbidden entice us? Or maybe, we are just plain stupid! Whatever the reason, it is true that we are attracted to things that have the power to destroy. Unfortunately, the ways of the world hold a certain appeal to Christians too.
The Word of God tells us, "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 and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out- but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity." 1 John 2:15-17 (The Message)
Reading over this verse tells me plainly and simply that this command was given to us for our own good.
The world is fading away, but if we do what pleases God, we live forever! I don't know about you, but I don't want to squeeze his love out and be isolated from him!
The world's system entices us to believe that true happiness comes from loving ourselves above all others. Our needs and desires should be paramount in our thinking. How easy it is at times for us to think it's all about me! This is in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus. He said, "I'm giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you." John 3:34 (God's Word). Jesus loved us sacrificially. "This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves." 1 John 3:16 (The Message). Try putting the needs of others before yourself. The emphasis in Scripture is not about getting love, but about giving love. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son..."
What about getting ahead, is it wrong to want to better one's self or get that promotion at work? These things within themselves are not bad or wrong; we just need to ask ourselves what we are willing to do to achieve them. What are our motives? What drives us? Is it success, acclamation, popularity, or self-importance? The world's definition of success is very different from how the Lord defines success. The amount of money in your bank account or the neighborhood in which you live is not a direct measure of how successful you are in God's economy! With the Lord, it is not about achieving – it's about being. "But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don't take yourself too seriously--take God seriously." Micah 6:8 (The Message)
It is tempting to think and act the way the world does because we are bombarded daily with the direct opposite of what the Word of God says.
For many it's all we see and hear! How can we make the world lose its attractiveness to us? Romans 12:2 NLT says, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." A renewed mind is what we need! We tend to copy what and who are around us. Surround yourself with godly people; people who are committed to Christ and his ways. Inundate yourself with scripture, so the belief system of the world will have no appeal to you at all!