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.2 Timothy 2:22 NIV
As a young believer and young man in the Navy, many years ago, this verse had special meaning for me. To flee the evil desires of youth was something that I really needed to hear. Temptations abounded on all sides. I had the desires of a young man away from home for the first time. And many people around me had cast off restraint. The temptation to join them was sometimes great.
I am much older now. My desires have changed over the years. And I no longer find myself surrounded by those same influences every day. Yet the message of this verse is still just as relevant to me. I still need to turn away from the desire to satisfy myself. I am in my golden years now, so they say. It’s time to sit back, take life easy, and enjoy the fruits of my labors. And that is so tempting.
But instead of that, Paul calls on me to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Out of a pure heart. Even though I am much closer to the end of my journey here than its beginning, I still need to pursue growing in godliness and becoming more and more like my Lord. Not distracted by the temporary pleasures of this world. But, with my eyes and mind firmly fixed on Jesus and the hope he has set out for me, pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace.