“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace…” –2 Timothy 2:22
I’ve never been much of a runner. I have friends, maybe you are one of them, who run simply because it is fun. While I can commend you for that, I will never be able to understand it. The only time I have any desire to run is when it is away from something dangerous. You’ll never see me in a marathon.
Scripture tells us as believers, and especially as men, that there are certain things we should run away from. Paul tells the young Timothy to “flee youthful passions.” The word here is the same that is used to describe Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:12). It describes not a casual walking away from, or even a jog, but an all-out sprint.
We are to run, as fast as possible, away from youthful passions. You know what I’m talking about. The sins that have had you captivated for years. The immaturity that you were once engaged in but is now affecting your marriage. The temptations that eat away at your conscience until you finally give in to them.
Flee from them!
But Paul does not just tell us to flee from the bad stuff. He tells us to pursue the good. The word “pursue” in the Greek has the same urgency attached to it as “flee.” Paul is saying that as quickly and urgently as we run away from the bad we should be pursuing the good. If we are not actively pursuing righteousness, faith, love and peace, Satan will catch up with us and will, ultimately, devour us.
So, what do we do? We identify the things that we need to flee from and then decide what we are going to pursue, but we do not do it alone. Look at the last half of the verse:
“…along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
We stand little chance of ever fleeing and pursuing fast enough alone. We need other men around us to push us onward when we grow weary.
The word “flee” is used again in the New Testament, but this time to describe Satan. Do you want to make Satan sprint away from you? Then do what James says and submit yourself to God. (James 4:7)
Join me, brother, in the race of a lifetime.