But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11)
If, as we discovered yesterday, we should not be self-absorbed in the acquisition of wealth, then what should we be doing with our lives? And, remember, this does not mean wealth is inherently bad, but rather that it can draw us away from things that are more important.
But what are these things, and again…what should we be doing with our lives? This is the question our verse for the day seeks to answer.
The alternative to a self-absorbed life is one in which we pursue…
…righteousness: We will never be perfectly righteous, but we can be right with God through the grace of Jesus, and a life that seeks to please Him with heart, mind, soul and strength.
…godliness: Godliness involves a life that mirrors the character of God. A godly person is known by the radiance of God’s reflection in him.
…faith: Those who are self-absorbed trust in themselves, and give themselves all the credit for their successes. Those with faith trust in God, and know the things of this earth are temporary and undependable.
…love: Self-absorbed people love self above all. But when we learn to be consumed by the pursuit of God, we understand our value is rooted in His love for us. Then, we love as He has loved us.
…endurance: The one who puts his faith in God can endure trials and grow through them. In fact, he understands some of life’s greatest blessings are a result of sacrifice and suffering.
…gentleness: A gentle and gracious spirit flows from the heart of those who know God has been gentle with them. Freely they have received…freely they give.
Paul has an interesting choice of words. He doesn’t merely suggest it is better to pursue these things than the self-absorbed life. Of the life that pursues only wealth and is never content he says, “Flee from all of this!”
Really? Flee from affluence? Flee from having everything the world has to offer? Flee from having everything our own way?
All I know is, I have met some people in my life who pretty much have lived only for themselves, and it seems to me they often look for a way to escape. To what and where, they aren’t sure…they just want “out.”
This makes me wonder if Paul is telling his readers to flee from the self-absorbed life because the day may come when it is becomes a prison. Ordinarily, I am not one to run, but it sounds like the self-absorbed life is one things that is good to put in our rear-view mirror.
Dear God, teach me the joy of a life lives for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.