Flee and Pursue
2Ti 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
In this passage Paul has given Timothy a lot to work on. Presenting himself as a servant approved and not giving into the irreverant and idle chatter of those who need to be silenced. In telling Timothy what NOT to do though, he tells him what he SHOULD do. So often we tell people NO NO NO but do not share with them what IS acceptable as an alternative. Paul does not fail to encourage Timothy in this way.
Flee. Run away, Get out of Dodge, “Feet do your stuff”, move move move. The one thing that we should do when it comes to youthful lusts (which do not only present themselves to our youth) is to leave. Just as Joseph did with Potiphar’s wife. He left his coat in her hands and fled from her presence.
Far to often, we try to get close to sin, figure out that magical line where we can say “this far and no further”, “up to this point, I have not sinned” and we get really defensive when someone suggests that we need to remove ourselves from the situation or environment. Just try to suggest to people that Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy are not appropriate shows for Christians and you will quite possibly get lots of reasons why that is a ‘blanket’ statement. (And we ALL know that blanket statements are wrong.)
No, youthful lusts are not just for the youth. The point is that by the time we mature, we should be past those desires that they youth find so enthralling. (side note: Thrall is an ancient word meaning slave. To be enthralled is to be enslaved by something even though that meaning is not commonly given to the word today).
Pursue. The positive thing that we are to do. Chase, run after, Seek, track down and just basically not give up the hunt in trying to obtain 4 things: Righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Excellent qualities and if sought after in the sense of pursuit, will not just make you a better Christian, will limit the time you have to be concerned with those things you are fleeing.
You might think of this illustration too. If you are Fleeing, it is because you are being chased and there is danger. If you are chasing something it is because it has value and there is value. So while you chase, don’t forget to flee. Because if your feet are not pursuing something, neither are they fleeing anything.