It is better to love God than the world.
If you set your love on worldly things, they will not satisfy. You may as well satisfy your body with air as your soul with earth! If the globe of the world were yours, it would not fill your soul. Will you set your love on that which will never give you contentment? Is it not better to love God? He will give you that which shall satisfy your soul to all eternity!
If you love worldly things, they cannot remove trouble of mind. If there is a thorn in the conscience, all the world cannot pluck it out. King Saul, being perplexed in mind, all his crown jewels could not comfort him (1 Samuel 28: 15). But if you love God, He can give you peace when nothing else can. He can apply Christ’s blood to refresh your soul. He can whisper His love by the Spirit, and with one smile scatter all your fears and disquiets.
If you love the world, you love that which may keep you out of heaven. “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10: 23). Prosperity, to many, is like a large sail to a small boat, which quickly overturns it. By loving the world you love that which will endanger you. But if you love God, there is no fear of losing heaven. He will be a Rock to hide you, but not to hurt you. By loving Him, we come to enjoy Him forever.
You may love worldly things, but they cannot love you in return. You love gold and silver, but your gold cannot love you in return. You give away your love to the creature and receive no love back. But if you love God, He will love you in return. “If any man loves Me, My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him” (John 14: 23). God will not be behindhand in love to us. For our drop of love to Him, we shall receive an ocean of His love!
While you love the world, you love that which is infinitely below the worth of your souls. When you lay out your love upon the world, you hang a pearl upon a swine— you love that which is inferior to yourself. As Christ speaks in another sense of the birds of the air, “Are you not much better than they?” (Matthew 6: 26), so I say of worldly things: are you not much better than they? You love a fair house or a beautiful garment— are you not much better than they? But if you love God, you place your love on the most noble and sublime object; you love that which is better than yourselves. God is better than the soul, better than angels, better than heaven!
You may love the world and receive hatred for your love. Would it not vex one to lay out money upon a piece of ground which, instead of bringing forth grain or fruit, should yield nothing but nettles? Thus it is with all earthly things— we love them, and they prove nettles to sting us! We meet with nothing but disappointment. But if we love God, He will not return hatred for love. “I love those who love Me” (Proverbs 8: 17). God may chastise His children, but He cannot hate them. Every believer is part of Christ, and God can as well hate Christ as hate a believer.
You may over-love the creature. You may love wine too much, and silver too much; but you cannot love God too much. It is our sin that we cannot love God enough. How weak is our love to God! If we could love God far more than we do, yet it can never be proportionate to His worth; so there is no danger of excess in our love to God.
You may love worldly things, and they die and leave you. Riches take wings! Relations drop away! There is nothing here abiding. The creature has a little honey in its mouth, but it has wings! It will soon fly away. But if you love God, He is “a portion forever” (Psalm 73: 26). As He is called a Sun for comfort, so a Rock for eternity. Thus we see that it is better to love God than the world.
Thomas Watson [1620–1686], sourced from, James Stuart Bell, From the Library of Charles Spurgeon: Selections From Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey, (Baker, 2012), 192–195