"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 Timothy 2:22).
When you flee something you run away from it. In the opposite direction. Imagine a fire that represents your evil desires. You are not trying to get as close to it as possible without getting hurt. Fleeing means running from it so far, and so fast, that there is no chance you will get burned!
We need to flee! There are plenty of evil desires of youth. I’m sure you know that. There might be some you can think of that apply particularly to you. What do you struggle with? What are you tempted by?
In the next verse of 2 Timothy, we read "Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels" (v. 23)
How do you argue?
- Maybe you get into arguments about things that don't really matter, like who of your friends has better music taste.
- Maybe you get into arguments just for the fun of it or to pick on someone.
- Maybe you get into arguments about Jesus, but you end up just trying to make a better point and win the argument and so really no one wins (especially not Jesus).
Onec again, don’t have anything to do with foolish arguments.
A better way to use your words
Rather pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call on God out of a pure heart (v 22). That is, use your words to build people up and encourage then. Speak lovingly to people. Create peace not arguments.
We need to cleanse ourselves from all our sin and make ourselves usable to God.
As we flee from evil desires this is what we run towards. And we don’t run alone. We have our Christian brothers and sisters running with us. Let’s keep encouraging each other in the race!