“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. ”1 John 2:15-17
As I came to the conclusion of the Epistle of First John, I noticed these words: “Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” It seems like an abrupt end to an Epistle that has been filled with the understanding of “love” and its practice. From a human understanding I might have expected something that incorporated the word “love”. Did John let me down? I think not.
First he addresses his Epistle to those he refers to as “children”. That in itself knocks out any thought that these may be mature Christians with which he is dealing. It also gives the idea that they might be his “children” in the Lord. He sees thru the immaturity and clearly addresses them from that standpoint, feeling he has a right and a responsibility to say something to them.
When he uses the words, “guard yourselves”, you sense that he sees a weakness in their armor or attitude that warrants attention. Paul uses a similar idea in Ephesians 6. Neither would have included such thinking had they not been cognizant of something that needed attention.
It is then that he draws this letter to an end that some would think to be blatantly frank, “from idols”. This is the “apostle of love” shooting with both barrels. Surely he could have utilized a little more diplomacy than imply, or even make a guarded implication, that they are involved in idolatry.
How we need discernment when these little time bombs or “tag- on’s” penetrate our armor. Do we see them as idols? In our quest to be on an equal with our friends and family, we can find an array of “needs”, that are in actuality greed. Our “homes”, “TOYS”, attire, plus, plus, plus…” from idolatry”!