READ: 2 Timothy 2:22
- Once again (it always does) context matters. Paul has just written to Timothy about the foundational concern of being a useful, holy vessel for God. Then, in order to do so, he says, “flee youthful passions.” “Passions” are cravings, longings, or desires. It is predominantly used as a pejorative term. i.e., something to be avoided. But, in this context, Paul doesn’t first elaborate on the negative. Instead, he tells Timothy to exchange those passions for different affections.
- There are many positive qualities for a believer to cultivate. And the context of those values is “those who call on the Lord.” In other words, with the people of God (the body of Christ). The final value is peace, which underscores the rejection of the divisive spirit discussed in yesterday’s text. We trade the passions of youth for the qualities of a mature believer in Christ. And that exchange defeats the Evil One.
- If “resist” is a key to success against the Evil One, then “flee” is a powerful form of resistance. We run from those characteristics and behaviors of the Evil One. We, in essence, throw them back in his face as we abhor, avoid and abandon evil behavior of all kinds. And to do that, we must learn to embrace a new set of affections. Only when we learn to love new character traits more than we did the old ones, will we succeed.
- What qualities are you cultivating more diligently?
- Which negative characteristics are you seeking to replace?
- Who would you trust to tell you which character traits you should exchange?
PRAY: Commit to ridding yourself of unhealthy character. Pray for the wisdom and strength to develop mature character. Ask God to protect us from the Evil One.