“Do not love the world (τὸν κόσμον) or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (ἀλαζονεία τοῦ βίου, false pretension of life), is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.” (1 Jn 2: 15-17)

What does St. John mean by “the world,” when he tells us not to love it? Does he mean the world that God “so loved, that He gave His only-begotten Son…” (Jn 3: 16)? Or does he mean the world that God created, and saw that it was “very good” (Gen 1: 31)? No, he means the world we “create,” or rather distort, by seeing it not with gratitude and amazement, but through the grace-less prism of “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the false pretension(s) of life,” which are never satisfied. It is the lust-ful and false vision of the world, which is blind to the “very goodness” of its Creator, that St. John warns us not to love. Because it’s bad for us to love our delusions. That kind of misplaced “love” leads us down a path of perpetual dissatisfaction and misery, because a delusion will never love us back, and will “pass away” along with the time we wasted chasing it.

So let me not waste my time on a “love” for the world that is actually lust, which can never be satisfied. Let me rather embrace love for One Who does love me back, and fulfills me by the “very goodness” of His will for me. Thank You, God, for the “very goodness” of Your creation, with which You bless me abundantly, if only I open my eyes to it, in gratitude and humility.

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