Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fleeing and Pursuing

Another quick insight from 2 Timothy. Some people reckon that Christianity is all negative, based in laws and 'thou shalt nots'. They couldn't be further from the truth! Rather, as we see here, God's commands are both positive and negative, and are always for our best interests.

So, for example, Jesus' words in Mark 1:14 - 'Repent and believe the good news' - repentance being turning away from sin, and believing being the turning towards God in faith. We also see this pattern in the words of Paul to Timothy: 'Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.' (2 Tim 2:22)

Yes, we're to flee bad things - to not give them ground, to not stand in them or let them develop. Rather, we're to get our trainers on and run away - fleeing the evil desires of youth. But it's not entirely negative... we're not to be headless chickens running around.

Paul gives us what we're to run towards - we're to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. What better things could there be to pursue, to run after, and to make our own? And yet, if we're honest, it won't be easy. The metaphors Paul has been using in 2 Tim 2 show determination, endurance and hard work.

But the good news is that we don't do it alone - we aren't lone rangers; we are soldiers together in the army of the Lord! Look - we have to flee and pursue 'along with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.' Thank the Lord that we have other Christians to share with in our struggles, and to encourage each other!

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