“But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” — 1 Timothy 6:11 (NASB)
Avoiding Shipwreck — Flee These Things
I once walked into a locker room when an NFL rookie caught my attention from across the room. When I reached his locker, he blurted out, “This place is eating my lunch! My parents didn’t teach me to live like this.”
His new teammates had insisted that he join them for a night on the town. You know the pattern: One step too far into enticing surroundings, and he had neither the strength nor the courage to part company with his teammates.
The Apostle Paul told his Godly, young disciple there are certain things you don’t compromise, taste, test or sample. You just flee. “These things” are desires or wants that lead to temptation, then to entrapment and eventually to destruction.
Materialism is Paul’s example of destructive desires in this passage. In other verses, he added flee sexual immorality and flee idolatry (anything that owns your devotion). Paul is identifying attractions that first appeal to our desires, then they rule our lives.
The Scriptures tell us to resist or fight some sins. There are also sins we are told to flee because they are subtle, deceptive and captivating. If we hang around thinking we can handle them, we are courting disaster. We taste and dabble with sin, and even ease our conscience by telling ourselves that everybody does it, or that we could have done worse. “Flee” is an urgent action — move quickly, immediately, deliberately!
If you haven’t wired “flee” into your life actions, sooner or later you will compromise your relationship with God, or worse, shipwreck your faith. Paul says, “Just run!”
Mess around with it and you may eventually crash on the rocks.
— Tom Petersburg
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