Thursday, October 25, 2012

2 Timothy 2:22-23

Summary retelling of 2 Timothy 2:22-23

Paul tells Timothy to flee the lust of immaturity.  Timothy is to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace instead.  Paul reminds Timothy that all those who call on the Lord with a pure heart seek after the same thing.  Paul instructs Timothy to stay away from “foolish” and “ignorant” discussions. Paul reminds Timothy that such discussions breed quarrels.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Flee the lust of immaturity.  For the record, lust isn’t just a sexual word.  Lust means anything that your heart desires in a way that is morally wrong.  I might lust after someone else’s possessions and end up stealing.  I might lust after freshly made brownies and end up being gluttonous.  I might lust after being entertained by my TV and not finish the work I was supposed to do in the evening.  I might lust after having a perfect home and car and end up being guilty of having too much personal debt.  Paul pulls no punches.  He says that we are to flee lust, because it is rooted in immaturity since lust only thinks about what we want now rather than what’s good for us in the long run.

What things in your life do you have after which you lust?  What steps can you take to help you deal with your lust after those things?  Do you think it is easy or hard to ask other people to help you deal with the things after which you lust?

Second Thought:
Timothy is to seek righteousness, faith, love, and peace.  In a nutshell, Timothy is to seek true community.  Furthermore, Paul reminds Timothy that this is the goal of all who call upon the Lord with pure intentions.  The sign of a healthy Christian community is the promotion of righteousness, faith, love, and peace.  People should enjoy coming together, loving one another, and promoting their belief in God over their own selves.

Where do you experience what Paul is talking about here?  What does it feel like when you are not in a place where that is possible?  Do you value those moments of true community when you have the opportunity to experience them?  How can you learn to appreciate them more?

Third Thought:
Paul speaks of “foolish” and “ignorant” discussions.  To put it more precisely, when Paul talks about foolishness he says “that which makes no sense” and when Paul talks about ignorance he literally means “from one who has failed to spend adequate time reflecting upon a subject.”  When Paul talks about controversies/discussions he is talking about a “discussion for the sake of argument without an underlying goal of seeking resolution.”  So here’s what Paul is saying in a nutshell.  Don’t waste a lot of your time engaged in pointless discussions that won’t change anything with people who aren’t willing to put the time in and research what you are actually talking about.  That’s really good advice.  When we spend our time debating issues with people who aren’t interested in changing – then our time is quite literally wasted.

Have you ever had a conversation with a person who is not interested in changing their opinion?  How can you tell that about another person?  How does it feel to have such a discussion?  Do you agree with Paul that we should avoid those kinds of discussions whenever possible?  Why do you agree or disagree?

Passage for Tomorrow: 2 Timothy 2:24-26
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