Friday, August 12, 2016

Flee Youthful Lusts

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." - 2 Timothy 2:22-26 ESV

If you don't sound a retreat from certain situations then 'the slanderer' will have certain latitude to affect you. It is that simple.

In a way it is a good picture of repentance... turning away from one thing to pursue another. A young bachelor who likes having one pretty young thing on his arm after another until such a time as when he decides to settle down is a wrecking ball for young female souls. Youthful lust destroys things and then leaves room for the slanderer because (figuratively speaking) He get a whole notepad full of material for accusation to use and reuse later.

But then when that same young person has a new identity in Christ they heed a different voice... this mature voice talks about value and not escape... It highlights full grown ideas... it isn't looking to set fire with matches or with ideas just to watch something burn... that is what little boys do... peace becomes important because death is no longer abstract.

"...along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." - 2 Timothy 2:22b ESV

This kind of pursuit requires companions who are doing the same thing. Iron sharpens iron. The womanizer's conquests are solitary fleeting satisfactions but the one who pursues righteousness is like an Olympic athlete. The whole country rejoices with each win. Even competitive teammates rejoice that their team took home a medal even if they weren't the ones to do it.

Do we know how to retreat? Can we say, 'I'm out of here.' in certain charged situations. If we don't then it is very very profitable to learn. Youthful lust is just a few clicks away in an internet browser. It is an isolated conversation away with a needy vulnerable person.

Don't do it! Run away.

Pursue righteousness. I would say, 'No one ever regretted pursuing righteousness.' but I'm sure some have because of deception. I will say that when a person stands before God any regret is going to flee because He loves it every time we seek Him or His priorities. He is blessed beyond measure by the smallest expressions of faith. When we are finally in His presence we will see just how much it means to Him in a much fuller way.


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