Run for Your Life
by Anna Kuta
“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
Have you ever been at the beach in the summer and gotten in the ocean only to look up after a while and suddenly realize you’ve drifted way down from where you got in? It can be pretty scary sometimes, as you frantically try to find your way back to your spot amid crowds of people, umbrellas and towels that all seem to look the same. You thought you were just floating in the water, and it seemed like it, but the whole time the waves and the current were slowly carrying you down the shore.
You might have heard the saying that if you are not going forward in your Christian walk, you are going backwards – that if you are not actively progressing and growing, you are losing ground. It’s similar to the way it works with the ocean. You might think you’re staying in the same place, but you’re losing ground without even realizing it.
Just as you have to continually keep swimming to keep the ocean from dragging you away from your place on the beach, growing in your faith and becoming more Christ-like is an active process, not a passive one. In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul uses words with a connotation of intent and urgency to describe what we as Christians should do: flee youthful lusts, pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace. The word “flee” implies running as fast as you can away from something like you’re afraid for your life, and that’s exactly what Paul is saying we should do when confronted with “youthful lusts,” or things that are not glorifying to God. Similarly, the word “pursue” implies following or chasing close behind something with the goal of catching it, like you’re hot on its trail. This is the way God wants us to approach our relationship with Him – constantly striving to get to know Him more through His word, to follow His commands, to grow closer to Him, and to ultimately become more like Him.
The more we pursue godly desires and our relationship with Jesus, the faster we can flee those things that are not honoring to God. It is a one-or-the-other choice. I can’t live a life that is glorifying to God if I’m continually dragged down by things that are detrimental to my spiritual growth. It’s something that ultimately comes down to every little choice we make. With God’s strength, though, we can deny wrong desires, and with His help, we can choose to do the right thing. Whatever you do, don’t stand still – run for your life away from things that don’t honor God and run equally fast toward Him.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Strive to learn more about Jesus through His word and grow closer to Him this year. Commit to pursuing your relationship with Him each day, and commit to asking Him to help you flee things in your life that are not glorifying to Him.