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
So, flee the passions of youth; and, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love and peace.
2 Timothy 2:22 CJB
I’m sure I am not the only one who has wondered how in the world I am to Flee the evil desires of my youth or to flee the passions of youth. Of course we have the example of young Joseph fleeing, literally running, from Potipar’s wife in Genesis 39 when she had been pursuing him for some time and he was but a slave.
6c Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
Then she lied about what happened:
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
Okay, so we flee or literally run away from the passions or evil desires of our youth. And none should be deceived that passions or evil desires are only from our youth. So now, how do we find those with a pure heart if we are to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace? Turning to scripture there are a few useful examples of a pure heart written about in Psalms.
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
So one clue is to seek out one who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Another clue is to seek out those who know they need God’s help to have a pure heart. They must know their own sinful nature and have the humility to turn to God and ask for His help.
Then there is the verse of the day from yesterday from Paul where we learned we were to avoid people who teach false doctrines, devote themselves to myths, and endless genealogies. Why? Because:
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5
And I would close with an excerpt from Ellicott’s Commentary where if you want to find men pure of heart then contrast those holy and humble men of heart who serve God without any ulterior motive, with those false teachers who dare to make their religion a gain, a source of profit.
It’s Friday and while I hope you have a Great Weekend. I also truly hope you will find your way to church and spend some time thinking on how you might serve God without any ulterior motive other than love and appreciation for all He has done for you.