Youthful lusts are not limited to physical attraction. They include excessive desires for popularity, acceptance, worldly success, or academic achievement.
The lusts that Paul warns us against are any of the short-sighted cravings of youth for personal pleasure or gain, rather than for personal godliness. Youthful lusts include any hunger or ambition that distracts from our pursuit of true righteousness, faith, charity, and peace.
Interestingly, Paul is not content with our fleeing youthful lusts; he commands us, alternatively, to pursue hard after (the word follow is very strong in the original language) a pure-hearted devotion to God. We will not experience the vibrant, joyful, fulfilling Christian life until we are not only trying to avoid sin but are also seeking after Christ.
And one of the greatest encouragements for people as they pursue Christ is to follow after Him with those that call on the Lord themselves out of a pure heart. Good friends are a great help to the Christian life, and are especially crucial when you are young.
So, young people, remember to flee away from sinful temptations, follow after Christ as your Lord, and look for good friends who will pursue Christ with you.
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