My daughter loves stuffed animals. She has tons of them. There are only a couple that stay out with her at all times, and the rest go in a bin so they stay safe from our dog, who cannot resist the temptation of a fresh stuffed animal. The other day, my daughter left one out and we found its mangled body on the floor with our dog standing over it, overwhelmed with guilt. It may sound silly, but that misplaced stuffed animal tempted the dog, which made my daughter sad, and ultimately upset my wife and me. If it had been put in the right place, none of that would have happened.
Misplaced items can cause unfortunate consequences, but have you ever considered that love can be misplaced? What we choose to love the most helps define who we are. The things or people we decide to love will captivate our imaginations, time, energy, and emotion. When we love the wrong things, the consequences are far worse than the consequences of a misplaced item. Here are 5 consequences of misplaced love.
This comes from loving pleasure. When pleasure becomes the most important thing in our lives, we will do anything to get it—even if it involves compromising our most cherished beliefs, ethics, and commitments. The worst part is we often justify our immorality with statements like “I deserve this” or “it’s not that bad.” And when we do that, our consciences gradually disappear.When you only care about yourself, you end up with yourself—alone.
This comes from loving your own ego, vanity, or status. When we love these things, we place ourselves in importance above all others. I’m not sure if there’s anything more unattractive than someone who is egocentric and selfish. Unfortunately, it leads to broken relationships and isolation. When you only care about yourself, you end up with yourself—alone.
This comes from loving money. Have you ever wanted something, but when you finally had it, it didn’t live up to your expectations? It’s a terrible feeling, a feeling you try to alleviate with another possession. You buy more and more but are never satisfied. That’s what happens when we love money. It leads to miserable, unsatisfying greed. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income.”
4. Disappointment or Depression
This comes from loving possessions or achievement. We somehow think that if we attain some achievement or possession, it’s going to satisfy us, that we will finally reach contentment. When it doesn’t, and it never does in the long run, we feel let down, disappointed, and maybe even depressed. There’s nothing more lonely than getting everything you ever wanted and having it not meet your expectations or fulfill your hopes and dreams.
This comes from loving sin. Jesus says in John 8:34, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” When we love sin, we submit ourselves to it and its impact on our lives. Day by day, it controls our thoughts and actions while it strips us little by little of everything that makes life good.
When Jesus was asked which of the Commandments was the most important, he answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is where our love should be: Love God, love your neighbor (your closest neighbors are your family), and love yourself (what God created). Loving these will fill our lives with joy, peace, contentment, integrity, and strength.
Sound off: What are some other possible consequences of misplaced love?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some things you love right now?”