Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj
In 2014, a movie released in India titled, PK, Amitabh Varma’s Hindi Lyrics featured in a particular song from that movie went this way (translated into English loosely):
(Boy to girl)
Looking at you, continuously
I keep on listening to your jibber-jabber
Forgetting all my work
I keep on just following you
This is a waste of time
Love is a waste of time
Still I have thought to myself
That once in my lifetime
I can go for ‘this waste of time’
Love is a waste of time…
Young people fall in love, at times, very well knowing that falling in love is a waste of time.
But it is also true that we love ‘wasteful’ things.
The greatest command in the Bible is of course this command: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt. 22:37-38).
The tragedy of our time is this: we love many-a-thing, but we don’t love God! We love what we should shove! That’s sad!
The Bible talks about people loving the wrong thing on various occasions. Let us journey through the pages of Scripture to figure this out, so that we would be wary of these ‘waste of time’ loves.
The Love of Silver
Michael Douglas, in the 1987 movie, Wall-Street, said this: “Greed, for the lack of a better word is good. Greed is right. Greed works.”
Yes, we live in a world where the love of silver, the love of money in other words, is considered good. But the Bible is categorical when it says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (I Tim.6:10).
How do we exhibit love for money as a believer? We skip our quiet time with God to work extra-time in our workplace so that we could make some more money! That is love of money in action! How do we show-forth love of money as preachers? We preach things that tickle the ears of our listeners so that they would give us big offerings instead of preaching the unadulterated Word of God!
Do you love gold instead of God? Don’t. Do you love silver instead of the Savior? Don’t. Don’t love what you should shove! Don’t love what you should loathe!
The love of STONES
Prophet Jeremiah explains this strange love of the people of Judah. They say, “I love foreign gods and I must go after them” (Jer. 2:25, NIV). Which foreign God did they love? They loved Baal, the Prophet Jeremiah had clarified just two verses above (Jer. 2:23). Instead of worshipping the living God who called the Rock (I Sam. 2:2), the people of Judah not just worshipped stones, but loved these lifeless objects as well.
Anything that takes the place of God in our life is an idol – we know that. Do we love such stones in our lives? These stones could be the gadgets we own, the gardens we have planted, the ministry we do! Let us not love what we shove! Let us not love what we should loathe!
The love of SENSUALITY
The naughty boy was told this by this flirty aunty: “Come let’s drink deep of love till morning; Let’s enjoy ourselves with love!” (Prov. 7:18). This woman’s husband had gone for a long trip and would not return in a hurry (Prov. 7:19,20). So, she filled her loneliness with a sinful love for sensuality. But the problem is this: you will never find in sin, what you entered sin to find (as someone said)! After the experience of sensuality is done and dusted, a gaping vacuum soon envelops the heart – does it not? Do you love to obey whatever you body says you must do because you are lover so sensuality? For example, when your body says, “Watch porn when you are alone”, do you obey your Body even after knowing that what you do will displease the Lord because you have read 2 Samuel 11:27?
The first thing that David did in 2 Samuel 11 was watching ‘live porn’ – the bath of a woman not his wife. And that displeased the Lord!
Let’s not love what we shove! Let’s not love what we should loathe!
The love of your UNSAVED SWEETHEART
Let’s talk to King Solomon. Let’s interview him. “Solomon, whom did you love in your first phase of life as a king?” He would reply this: “The Lord! Have you not read I Kings 3:3?” That verse goes this way: “Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according the statutes of his father David”. One note-worthy statute for the kings of Israel was this: they must not take many wives lest their hearts be led astray (Duet. 17:17).
But as the second phase of his life dawned, the Bible has this to say about King Solomon: ‘King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love..’ (I Kings 11:1-2).
Do you stubbornly love your unsaved sweetheart with a plan to marry her/him soon hoping that she/he will become a believer though your influence? Stop! I Corinthians 7:39 is clear: a person who is already a believer, marries a believer!
Are you in love with an unbeliever?
Let’s not love what we shove! Let’s not love what we should loathe!
The love of SLEEP
We loathe what we should love, and love what you should loathe! What a sad route we have taken in life! There are those who love Sleep as the Proverbs Pen Man records, “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; Stay awake and you’ll have food to spare” (Prov. 20:13). Late-rising, Sleep-Loving King David eventually fell into sexual sin (I Sam. 11:2). Matthew Henry, the ace Bible commentator wrote, “The bed of sloth is very often the bed of lust,” so wrote the Great Bible Commentator, Matthew Henry. Let’s not love what we shove! Let’s not love what we should loathe! If I had not sacrificed sleep, many of my Bible-teaching articles would have never been written (including this one)!
The love of STRIFE
One of the writers of the Psalms, writes about another kind of love, the kind that God hates, this way: ‘The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked; his very being hates anyone who loves violence” (Psa. 11:5). Are we not like the people of Ephraim? In Judges 8:1 they pick up a fight. In Judges 12:1 they pick up yet another fight. They use these uncouth words in their angry rant here: “We will burn your house over you with fire!” This tribe seems to be always fighting! They love strife it looks like! Let us not love what we should be shoving like them! Let’s not love what we should loathe, like the folks of Ephraim! Instead, let us strive to be peace-makers! Instead, let us get involved in the ministry of reconciliation! Instead let us proclaim the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:15).
The love of STORIES
Prophet Jeremiah talks about the people of Judah who were “story-lovers”, that is, lie-lovers! He writes, ‘The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?’ (Jer. 5:31). What lies did the prophets of Jeremiah’s time, utter? They lied about the length of the exile. These ‘story-tellers’ said that the exile would last the length of just two years (Jer. 28:11,15,16) when God had clearly said it would be for 70 long years (Jer. 25:9-13).
There are false teachers in our time who also tell us stories. Stories, such as these: “hell punishment is not forever!; Lies such as these: “You can cross-over from hell to heaven!” Deceiving words such as these: “Grace is there, so keep sinning!” What is worse is this: some people love such stories. What is appalling is this: some believers love such lies.
Let me refute just one lie from the above-mentioned list of lies: the lie concerning the length of hell punishment. Read Romans 16:26 and Matthew 25:46. Both the verses have the word ‘eternal’. In Romans that word is prefixed before the word ‘God’ and in Matthew the same word is prefixed before the word, ‘punishment’. If you say that punishment of hell won’t be eternal then you also have to say, “God is not eternal!” But that is not possible! So, God is eternal! And Hell torment is eternal!
We should not love the ‘story’ (lies) of false teaching, even if seasoned men of God teach it!
And it is a folly to love what you shove! And it is stupidity to love what you should loathe!
The love of SLIPPING STUBBORNLY
Jeremiah’s painfully true words express the final ‘S’ in this list of things we unfortunately perhaps love, instead of loathing: This is what the Lord says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet.So the Lord does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins” (Jer. 14:10). The people of Judah to whom Jeremiah ministered, loved to wander away from Yahweh! In the time of Judges, the people of Israel demonstrated their sickening love for slipping away by repeating the seemingly endless cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance following repentance, and peace!
This attitude of loving backsliding is dangerous. Why? There is no surety that we will ever come back to God if we choose to go away from him. Both Judas and Peter went away from Jesus. Only Peter chose to come back. Judas did not come back, mind you. He chose stubbornness along with his sin. And that proved to be catastrophic for him! Let’s not love what we should loathe! Let’s not love what we should shove!
It is my prayer that you freeze your love for the wrong thing this Valentine Day season! Instead your love will be the love that Prophet Isaiah had for the Living God. Prophet Isaiah called God his Well-beloved (KJV)/my Greatly Beloved Lord(AMP)/the One I Love(CSB)/My Darling(WFC) in Isaiah 5:1! Let’s copy him! Let’s love the Lord! Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!” (I Cor. 16:22). Not loving the Lord truly is so serious – it can land us in hell!
(The article by Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj appeared in the February 2023 edition of Aim magazine of Evangelical Fellowship of India. Duke is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a listener-supported ministry. You can support this ministry should you choose to using this link: https://razorpay.me/@g4mission)