I love this passage of Scripture. It’s message is to the point: flee! Flee youthful lusts. Run away from sins that tend to ensnare us younger folk, things like anger, lust and greed. Paul not only instructs Timothy not play with sin but to race away from it.
I like simple, practical lessons like that.
I also like how it doesn’t stop there.
Have you ever noticed that telling someone no isn’t enough? When we’re young it’s important to know that obedience, without explanation, is necessary. But as we grow and mature we need to gain understanding; as Christians we need to know what to replace youthful lusts with. Maturing in Christ isn’t about avoiding sin but replacing it with good works.
Let’s make this practical. In what ways can we, the Christian Body, follow righteousness? More acutely, how can Believers who subscribe to different creeds, denominations, dress codes and conduct follow righteousness in a way that says we are unified in obeying Jesus? How can we make this more about Jesus than rules?
Simply, let’s follow Him.
For me, that means to do what He says, live holy and drop the rules I mistake for righteousness and follow my Righteousness. It means that I can believe in wearing a headcovering while fellowshipping with those who don’t. Following righteousness means loving God’s people and following Jesus without trying to be the standard, the measuring stick, for it.
Faith is something we have to follow every day, something that needs to be pursued and fed. Admittedly, faith hasn’t been my strong suit this last year. I had forgotten that I need to follow after faith, to encourage it. I have struggled with fear and doubt because I left off that pursuit.
Thankfully, my Heavenly Father is working gently in my doubting heart through simple means.
He helped me “follow faith” through Sunday morning worship. Instead of focusing on my fears and doubts the Lord encouraged me to focus on truth. Words like these reminded me in what and Whom I believe.
Do you ever feel like a failure? Like you do not love enough?
Don’t worry. If Paul had to instruct Timothy, a model New Testament leader, to follow after love then I think it’s safe to say that he failed sometimes.
Let’s follow after charity. Real charity, not the fake, superficial kind I tend to favor. For me, I need to follow after the hard kind of love; the kind that speaks truth meekly and prays earnestly. To follow after love means we get to love the dickens out of the people God brings our way.
I love this encouragement.
Lately, my Lord has been reminding me how sinful my flaring temper really is; how He died for my sly tongue and rose to redeem me from it. Following peace isn’t easy … especially when writing scathing comments on Facebook seems to be the only way to get our point across these days (on point, eh?).
But it isn’t right.
Following peace means following Jesus. How would our Savior wants us to respond to irritating people and situations? How can we follow peace? Maybe by asking ourselves if our actions are all they need to be … do they reflect righteousness? Faith? Love? Peace? If not then perhaps it should be put in the category of a youthful lust?
For me, following peace can be as practical as letting my husband’s occasional quirks go without my getting irritated or flustered. It means choosing to pray for family members who hurt me instead of stewing over their offense. It means consciously and daily forgiving others because I have been forgiven myself.
I love that Scripture is incredibly practical and down to earth. God is pretty amazing like that. One of my recent favorite quotes comes from the book Stepping Heavenward. “God is just as willing, and just as able to sanctify, as He is to redeem us.” So incredibly true; so, sweet Reader, let’s allow God to make 2 Timothy 2:22 a beautiful reality in our lives. he is more then willing and able.
With love, coffee and alotta blessings,