By Ranen Chan
Edited by Eunice Tan and Drew Fong
“When you stay in a hotel, do you start buying decorations to decorate your hotel room? No, because it’s not your home. Likewise, this earth is not our home. We are just passing through.”
On a Sunday, I was in a Bible study group, and we were studying 1 John. As the facilitator shared her thoughts, it got me thinking. This life, although seemingly long, pales in comparison to eternity. Many of the things that seem to matter now aren’t significant from an eternal perspective. Oftentimes, I have so much going on that I don’t stop to think: “Is this really worth my time? Is this something of significance?”
In 1 John 2:15, John writes, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Sometimes we can get too attached to the things of this world (I know I do) that our hearts are drawn away from God. You may be wondering, “What exactly are the ‘things of the world’?” What John is referring to here is not our physical world, but the sin of the world. If we love worldly things so much that they take precedence over our love for God, we commit the sin of idolatry. The word “idolatry” may remind you of the Israelites worshipping the golden calf, but the truth is, an obsession with pop culture, singers, or anything at all can be idolatry just as much as worshipping statues of false gods are. We may not be worshipping a statue but as soon as something or someone (possibly even ourselves) other than God assumes first place in our lives, we become idolaters. That thing or person becomes our “god.”
This is not to say we should live a monkish existence, retiring in solitude to the mountains with some sheep for company, completely cut off from the outside world. It’s not a bad thing per se to watch movies or listen to contemporary music. However, we do need to be careful of what we allow ourselves to watch and listen to. We should ask ourselves: “Do the songs I listen to promote immorality? Are the messages of the movies I watch biblical? Are the books I read wholesome?” But the most important question we should always ask ourselves is this: “Have I given rulership of my heart to anything or anyone other than Jesus?”
The pleasures of this world will not last forever. They have no eternal significance. If we look to them to find fulfilment, we will have temporary gratification; nothing more. Ultimately, only God can fill us and make us whole. Only He knows and can satisfy our needs, because He was the One who made us.
There have been times when I became too attached to the things of the world. I’m not perfect, and none of us are. I hope that this has encouraged you to continually examine yourself, as this is also a reminder to myself of the need for self-reflection to help us have a better perspective. We always need to keep in mind that heaven is our real home. This earth is not our home. We are simply passing through.
Where is your home?