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    Love is an interesting thing. It is at a young age that we begin to understand love. A small child will express and feel love for their parents at a very young age. However that love is quite different from the love they feel for their parents when the child is 40 years old. A teen will feel love for the one they are dating. Sometimes this love will come quite soon in the relationship. Yet that love is nothing in comparison to the love that is felt by a couple who has been married for 20 years.

    There are other types of love as well. These other types of love are quite different than loving one’s parents or spouse. Many people love Reese’s peanut butter cups, coffee in the morning, or a perfectly cooked steak. This love is not a caring or endearing love, but rather a love that is focused inward and on oneself. People love these foods because of what they get out of them. This type of love could care less about what is best for the Reese’s cup or coffee. This type of love is actually a desire or lust for these things and is often mistaken for true love.

    1 John 2:15 says, 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.” John teaches that we are not to have a love for the world. All that is in the world is lust and pride (1 John 2:16). When we love these things we are feeding on our own desires and the love that we have is a self centered lust to fulfill our own desires. When we love the world in this way, we do not love God as we should.

    The lusts and pride that are in the world lead to temptations which can often lead us astray. We can resist the temptations and do what is right, but part of doing so is recognizing the difference between love for the world and love for God. A self centered, self fulfilling love that is only based on the things of this world is not true, Godly love. True, Godly love is not self-centered, but is a desire for that which is best for us, for others, for truth, and for God. When we have a Godly love we will want what is best for ourselves spiritually. We will want what is spiritually best for others. We will strive for truth and righteousness.

    Temptations often play on our emotions. Temptations can let us believe that “lust” is “love”. However lust in and of itself is not love. When we love the world, the things in the world, the lust, the pride, the selfishness of the world, then we do not love God. When we put the selfish desires, lust, and pride aside, it is only then that we can truly love God, ourselves, and those around us.