The wise man should love nothing here, since nothing lasts...
- Columbanus, Sermon III (Irish, 7th century)
Do not love the world or the things in the world.
- 1 John 2.15
The beloved apostle and the great Irish peregrini did not mean that we should not love our neighbors, our fellow Christians, our spouses and families, even our country and the creation. Of course we are to love all these, just as God Himself does.
The focus of our writers is rather upon ultimate devotion - what we love supremely, what we are committed to having and enjoying above all else. Nothing in this world will last; indeed, it is already passing away (1 Jn. 2.8). It makes no sense to attach our deepest devotion to things that cannot last. For when they - or we - are gone, then we shall have nothing to love, and nothing to satisfy our need to be loved.
Ultimate devotion and supreme love must go to God alone, so that all we are, every moment of our lives, all our thoughts and words and deeds belong to Him for His pleasure and purposes. In thus loving God with all our heart, mind, conscience, and strength, we position ourselves to know Him and His blessings continually - an experience completely satisfying and full of peace.
We have to work at this. The world is full of distractions and seeks constantly to suggest other things as more deserving of our attention, affection, and strength than knowing and loving God. We are all just a temptation away from becoming practicing idolaters. We must all, therefore, be vigilant against every distraction and devote ourselves to seeking, knowing, and serving our God in every situation, all the time.
Do we love this world more than God? Only you know if that is true in your life. If it is, then you are wasting your love on things that cannot fulfill you.
Love God supremely. He'll teach you how to regard everything else. And He'll bring you into fullness of joy and pleasures forever more, regardless of your circumstances in this life.