Things to Pursue, and Things to Avoid

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels” (2 Timothy 2:22-23).

Earlier in the week, we discussed how “weights” can slow us down in our commitment to God. But once we discard the weights, we must pursue good things. The verse above mentions several things to pursue: faith, love and peace. Those who pursue such things give evidence that they serve God from “a pure heart.” These pursuits please God because they also describe the Spirit-filled life (Galatians 5:22-23).

But then 2 Timothy 2:23 mentions something we need to avoid: foolish, ignorant controversies. They lead to energy draining quarrels, and dampen our commitment to God. We cannot avoid all controversies. Jesus and His disciples were controversial people because they preached a controversial gospel. But a careful reading above provides the true meaning: “foolish, ignorant controversies.”

Some people labor night and day, but for the wrong cause. They have zeal, but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2). Somewhere they veered off the main highway, and began to teach things not biblical. They do not lack zeal or initiative, they simply lack direction.

God has given us a glorious but limited calling. We preach Christ and disciple people, and then we do it again. This commission never ends as long as we live. We continue to preach Christ, and labor to please Him in all we do. Some get sidetracked, and labor for the wrong things.

Paul commanded us to fight the good fight, not just any fight (1 Timothy 6:12). When we fight the wrong fight, we generate quarrels, in-fighting and foolish controversies. But we also siphon off much needed energy that should go to fight the good fight. Many Christians have been diverted from their calling in order to pursue worthless goals. God calls us to a high level of commitment, and to the right fight. Why waste precious time fanning the flames of foolish controversies while our main task gets neglected?

Ask God to sharpen your focus and channel your efforts to worthy Christ-honoring goals. He has only given us a limited time on this earth to live for Him and serve Him. We should be laboring for the right things, and not things that only breed quarrels.

“Lord, sharpen our focus to labor for the things that please You. Keep us from foolish pursuits and quarrels that only drain us. Strengthen our resolve and commitment to serve You, doing the things You bless. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

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