Do you know what the “Killer P’s” are? Here’s a partial list: Power, position, possessions, prestige, playthings, and occasionally, people.
Why are they the “Killer P’s”? Because these are the things in life that can draw us slowly away from God. This doesn’t always happen. But it can.
They often begin as mere distractions. But these distractions eventually draw us in deeper and deeper. It may be a slow, gradual, almost unnoticeable process. Or they may pull us in dramatically and very, very quickly. But whichever way it goes, the distraction will keep demanding more of our attention, more of our energy, more of our time and more of our resources.
We love the both/and. And we often tell ourselves that accepting the things of this world can be had without sacrificing our relationship with Christ. So we attempt the fence-straddle.
But that distraction just keeps distracting us. It simply keeps drawing us closer and closer. It’s power appears irresistable. It’s force is inexorable.
One day we look back and it’s been a really long time since we last attended church, or participated in a growth group, or served on a ministry team. We can no longer recall when we last received the Lord’s Supper, or thought about our baptism, or read a little section of our Bible.
John could see this process at work in the people he was pastoring at the end of the first century. From a distance, he watched as his beloved brothers and sisters in Christ were being drawn away from their faith in Christ by the killer “P’s” — the killer distractions.
John’s response was to go straight for the heart. Be careful what you love, he told his people, almost as if he had the words of Solomon on his mind: “Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV). Be careful what you love, because what you love is what you will devote yourselves to.
If you love Jesus, you will “break-up” with the world. But if you love the world, you will at some point “break-up” with Jesus.
Keep in mind, John told his people, one of these objects of your love is only temporary. It’s going to pass away and it’s not going to come back — at least not in its present form.
The other is eternal. Divine. And will never let you down, or let you go.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17, NIV).
Lord, help me to guard my heart. There are many distractions that the world throws at me. Forgive me for the times I have allowed these distractions to draw me away from you. I want to stay focused on what’s truly important. And that is you, Jesus.
Our Bible reading for Tuesday, December 1, is Daniel 7:1 – 8:14, 1 John 2:12-27 and Psalm 136:13-26.
Header image based on "what you are worrying about right now..." by Torley, CC By 2.0