ON LOVING THE WORLD
“Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it…The whole world-system…(is) based on men’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions and the glamour of all that they think is splendid…” (I Jn. 2:15, 16 – Phillips Translation)
But the glamour is alluring! We can identify with St. Augustine’s cry, “Give me chastity, but not yet.”
If the truth were out, many of us would have to admit that the world’s glamorous are our closet heroes. We ogle their lifestyles which seem so smooth…leisurely, and in control.
Almost transcendent .
Perhaps they have mastered Lauren Hutton’s secret of success, ” Never, ever let them see you sweat.”
Our lives, by contrast seem to muddle along amidst our rather tired and familiar surroundings of dirty laundry, unmowed lawns, and piles of unanswered mail.
James reminds us however, that “flirting with the glamour of this world” is akin to being “the world’s lover,” an “unfaithful wife.” It is by our love of the world…by our spiritual adultery, that we become “an enemy of God.” (Jms. 4:4 Phillips Translation)
Years ago I remember attending a Rotary Club meeting with the rich, the powerful and the beautiful of our town. These were the guys with the tailored pin stripe suits, Italian hand crafted shoes, and manicured nails. Cool. Polished. Together. Cultured. Or so it seemed.
However, as the meal progressed I realized how many of these men I had privately counseled. And in those sessions, they had wept, pouted, and agonized over disintegrating marriages, rebellious kids, severe financial problems, and self-doubt over their professional abilities.
It is vital for us to understand that true fulfillment is found in the daily struggle with loving, giving, and forgiving amidst piles of laundry, raucous kids and rushed schedules. It is here that the authentic beauty of Christ’s character is being forged.
And the “glamorous” world can never match that !
My prayer is that you are having a great week!
R. Dwight Hill
*Originally dated July 12th 1995