2 Timothy 2:20-26
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 22 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. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
I’m not much of a runner these days. When I was in school I ran quite a bit, whether it was the cross country or a game of soccer. But these days it doesn’t rate high on my list of priorities. Can you relate? Running simply isn’t something I do much of – at least, not in the physical sense.
Figuratively, I often feel like I’m sprinting through life. Running from one meeting / event / season, to the next. In the broader sense of life, I’m quite the athlete – and I have a feeling I’m not alone in this!
In this passage, Paul is instructing Timothy on how to be an honourable and approved worker for God. His advice is basically for Timothy to keep himself pure so that he can be effectively used by God. And how do you keep yourself pure? Paul says it’s about where you’re running.
Run FROM anything that stimulates youthful lusts. In other words, run FROM things that are going to stir up lusts and tempt you away from God, and run hard. Instead of this, Paul says, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Run TOWARDS these things. Run TOWARDS righteous living, run TOWARDS faithfulness, run TOWARDS love and TOWARDS peace.
So the question is – where are you running right now? Is it FROM the unhelpful stuff and TOWARDS the good stuff, or vice versa?
Father, help every one of us to run from temptation and run towards You. May our lives be marked by righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace, as we run towards these things for Your glory. Amen.
Written by Ps. Matt Samperi