There Are No “Part Time Lovers”
The smooth beat and playful lyrics of Part Time Lover, by songwriter and singer Stevie Wonder, are very telling. If audiences would take the time to listen to the words and message being proclaimed they would catch the irony. While the playful performer tells bits and pieces of living as a Part Time Lover, it is masqueraded in self-deceiving sounds and rhythms of the storyteller. The inevitable end, as the song writer concludes, is one of bitterness and sorrow.
As a Christian, to be a “Part Time Lover” of the world means an inevitable end of bitterness and sorrow. John warns of the end days in 1 John 2 that Christians will be deceived if possible. He admonishes believers to not love the world—fully or as part-time lovers. 15 Do not love the world, John admonishes, or anything in the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
For the Christian, the playful performer who entices believers to be Part-Time Lovers of the world is the devil, the father of lies. Like the “Part-Time Lover” in the Stevie Wonder song, Christians who love the world know they are wrong. To be enticed and live a secretive life as a lover of the world may seem adventurous and fully alive, however, it will only lead to bitterness. Proverbs 5 warns of the adulterous woman that like the songwriter, her lips drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.
What is true physically is also true spiritually. To follow the adulterous ways leads to bitterness and death. Spiritual adultery can seem enticing and adventurous but is also destructive. The title, “Part Time Lover,” appears harmless and non-committal; however, it is the very opposite. The lover is given fulltime to keeping his secret and is fully committed to his passion. The Christian adulterer, like the protagonist in the song knows what he is doing is wrong, “but it feels so right.” “Chasing love up against the sun,” sounds romantic and daring. However, it is sure to end in destruction and bitterness.
If you find yourself enticed by the masterful songwriter of this age, remember the writings of proverbs and of John. If you have fallen don’t despair. John tells us that …if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Therefore, go out and sing a new song that declares, “I am a Full Time Lover of My Lord and Savior,” (written by the Lord of Wonder).