"Man of God that you are, flee from all this." —1 Timothy 6:11
Paul commanded Timothy to do four things (1 Tm 6:11-12): 1) flee, 2) seek, 3) fight, and 4) hold. Christians encourage each other to "hold on," "hang in there," and persevere. Sometimes we realize that to hold our ground, we must obey Paul's third commandment to Timothy. We must fight the evil one (see Eph 6:12-13). Some Christians even understand that the basis of holding and fighting is seeking. Jesus promised: "Seek first His kingship over you, His way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides" (Mt 6:33).
Yet, how many Christians are aware of Paul's first commandment to Timothy? The greatest "seekers," "fighters," and "holders" are the greatest "flee-ers." We don't flee the Lord. We love Him. We don't flee the devil. We attack him, and he flees from us (Jas 4:7). However, we do flee what Paul calls "all this" (1 Tm 6:11). We flee the "love of money" (1 Tm 6:10), wanting to be rich (1 Tm 6:9), discontent (1 Tm 6:6), false teaching (1 Tm 6:3), bickering (1 Tm 6:5), and injustice to employees, especially Christian ones (1 Tm 6:2).
In effect, we must flee a secularized, self-centered, pleasure-seeking lifestyle. If we "flee all this," we will seek first God's kingdom, victoriously "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tm 6:12), and hold on to everlasting life (1 Tm 6:12).
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me to properly flee.
Promise: Jesus "journeyed through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God." —Lk 8:1
Praise: St. Cyprian fled "all this" as he made a vow of chastity before he was baptized, gave away his money to the poor, and accepted God's will to leadership as a bishop.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011
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