In our last visit we began to study 2nd Timothy 2:22-26 using the 4S study approach. I encouraged you to read these verses over a few times and spread out the details you find on a sheet of paper.
The next step in this study approach is to sort this information into groups. Two words struck me as I read: flee and pursue. Then the idea of distancing yourself from those who would distract you with foolish issues came up. Paul implied if you flee, pursue and distance yourself you will be able to more effectively do ministry.
Let’s use what we found to structure an outline that puts our thoughts together in an orderly way. The title I came up with for the outline was: Becoming useful to God. The points that emerged were to become useful to God we will need to flee certain things, pursue other things and distance ourselves from what would distract us: Flee, Pursue, and Distance ourselves. When these are operative in our lives we will be useful to God and a blessing to others.
Now let’s amplify each of these points in the outline. Under Flee Paul clearly says: “Flee the evil desires of youth.” This has been a recurring theme in the two letters Paul wrote to Timothy. Paul might have noticed that Timothy struggled in these areas. But he was surely not alone.
Most men find that evil desires arise in their hearts when they least expect them. The urge might be strongest when one is young, but the danger for older men is that they might think they are not vulnerable anymore and thus leave themselves open to attack. Beware. Always, “flee the evil desires of youth.”