“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
2 Timothy 2:22
“Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God.
2 Timothy 2:22 MSG
I ran across this verse in a devotion the other day and it has really given me a powerful truth to hold onto, to strive for on the daily. This is written by Paul to the young Timothy, one man in ministry to another, Paul is spending intentional time here to encourage Timothy in the ways he should go and shouldn’t. Both versions of this verse are posted because I accidentally hit the second version, called the message, which is a newer more modern translation of the Word and it has opened up a few words that open up this truth even more.
Paul says to flee “youthful passions” or “infantile indulgence.” When I heard that word “indulgence” I began thinking of eating at a buffet, I know, that doesn’t sound good on my end but to indulge your self in something, to go overboard and let those things take over, going too far in them. That’s why I began thinking of food on a buffet, the food is good, we need food to eat, but no longer can we just walk up to the buffet and eat plate after plate of whatever we want. Those days were good and all but now we’re growing up and Paul has given us this Word to chew on to help mature us in our faith. He says to “flee” from these “youthful passions.” And just think about that for a moment, when you’re young you are trying everything possible! You walk up to the buffet of life and you’ll have one of those, oh those look good too, and I’ll definitely try one of those. When you’re younger, the world is wide open like a buffet, and we are more capable of eating too much without seeing any consequences or results that are all too bad. It’s just trying new stuff and having fun?
Until, you get to the point where those things you are overindulging, it has caught up with you and all those trips to the buffet sit on you a little different now. Just like when a person gets older and their metabolism slows down, they can’t eat from the buffet like they used to because they will gain weight a whole lot faster. It’s the same way as we spiritually become more mature with Jesus, we can’t go back to those buffets and go crazy because the weight of those things sits on us differently, and not in a good way. Those things hold us back from growing and becoming more and more like that of Christ as we grow in our persona relationship and understanding of who He is.
Where we used to eat a million different things from the buffet and always trying something new, Paul tells us here that all we need is what works. All we need is what makes a difference in our lives and hearts, and that’s going to the buffet and getting a plate of faith, love, and peace. That’s all we need on our diet, not anything else, although it looks appetizing, Jesus has grown us to see that we need nothing else but these three qualities that come from Him and Him alone. Eating these plates of food, we don’t become overweight, or unhealthy from going too far, Jesus makes us spiritually healthy which leads to every area of our lives. Our discipline, our dealings with others, and so much more. That’s where it starts, with Christ and the nourishment of His food, faith, love and peace that He brings to our lives.
I found today that choosing, chasing after, and seeking God above all the possible things that you could be chasing after, it brings you faith in WHO God is and how much peace and love He brings to our hearts and lives when we are completely opened up and purified to see Him without all the other mess, those “youthful passions,” clogging up our vision from being close to Him.
Kind of a wild God Gold message today but the main point to remember is, the buffet may be huge, appetizing and holding so many tasty options but chase after God every single time!!! It’s the one plate you can get that will never leave you hungry!!!