“Flee these things”
The Apostle Paul concludes his first letter to “his son” (Philippians 2:22). Timothy with a survey of the problems and bad influences amongst some of the believers. He stresses the things he should teach adding,
“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing” (6:3,4).
He warns Timothy of
“people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (verse 5).
It is distressing that some appear to give the appearance of “godliness” – the worst example is those who seek to become Priests and Pastors and the like and as a result have a comfortable lifestyle and people look up to them.
Let us carefully note the attitude Paul stresses,
“there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (verses 7,8).
We take nothing out of the world when our journey through life is complete! Let us aim to “leave” an example of true godliness – that is the greatest bequest we can make having followed
“the teaching that accords with godliness”.
Our world is making a ‘god’ of money – and the possessions and travel experiences, and other things, many of them godless that it can bring. Let us note Paul’s warning;
“the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith …” (verse 10).
Look how Paul urges Timothy,
“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called …” (verses 11,12).
The phrase “flee these things” highlights the urgent need to get away from wrong attitudes – and what to “pursue” in their place. Let us imagine Paul is writing to us with these words – for in following them we keep ourselves
“unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 14).