"Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world." 1 John 2:15-16 (NRSV)
When I was probably 14 years old, while out clothing shopping I saw a pair of shoes I really wanted -- two-tone suede with crepe soles. What can I say it was the 70's and they looked hip. Oh, how I lusted after those shoes and the places they would take me. They were very cool, plus they'd add another 1½ inches to my height. They weren't something I needed so I didn't bother asking my parents for them, instead, I saved my allowance. The day arrived and I excitedly made my purchase. A week after I got them home, I became disappointed. The fantasies of what I thought these shoes would do for me were just that. They didn't make me hip, cool, or suave, they were just ugly shoes on my awkward teenage feet.
That's how sin works. All those shiny beautiful ideas and objects are hiding the rot beneath. Without God's help, we become sold on things that aren't good for us. Think of the images we are exposed to daily in the media. Ads selling all kinds of miracle drugs with a long list of dangerous side effects (in some cases may result in death). In our shows, we see the glorification of violence, crime, greed, and sex. Is there any wonder why we read about increases in mass shootings, sexual abuse, and slavery, and hate crime daily, and cases of identity fraud and scams constantly on the uprise? Satan takes all those desires of our flesh and eyes and plates them in imitation gold leaf. Like with my shoes, sometimes it only takes a short while before we realize our disappointment.
The alternative is to love our Father, embracing that which is good and pure. In rejecting earthly desires we not only have the promise of a future eternal home with Christ, but we also spare ourselves much woe and disappointment now.
Father, thank you for your continuous grace to us. We confess things of this earth often tempt us. We are enticed by false promises and things that are ultimately harmful. We pray for forgiveness. Please help us to choose what is pure and good. Help us to share the joy found in loving you with others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.