Fight or Flee

We have had our first “winter snow.” Frigid cold and about four inches of snow here in Northern Colorado. Debbie has been on call today, so I was able to get out and get the driveway cleared of snow. My power wheelchair still comes in handy, although I may need to get tire chains for when it snows.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.” 1 Timothy 6:11,12 NIV

The country and western song says, “you need to know when to fold’em and when to hold’em.” As Paul in just a two sentences tells Timothy to “flee” and to “fight” the context is completely different.

Paul begins his first letter to Timothy warning about false teachers and ends still warning about false teachers and those who would threaten the integrity of the gospel and the steadfast faith of believers. It seemed whatever Paul taught there were those who taught the opposite or contradicted his teaching.

Paul condemns these false teachers with these words, “…they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions  and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” (1 Timothy 6:4,5 NIV)

In contrast to the character and interests of false teachers and their corrupt view of money Paul tells Timothy, to “flee from all this….” Flee from all the controversies and the false teachings that can be so common and instead pursue “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”

Then Paul charges Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith.” The godly character that Paul promotes and the sound teaching of the gospel is something worth fighting for. Times change, cultures change, the world changes, but there are some basic, timeless, qualities and truth that is to be contented for in all times.

There were those in Paul’s day that were causing fights and division and controversies that came from impure motives and their twisted views. But Paul wanted Timothy to know that there is a “fight” that is worth taking on. It is the “good fight of faith.”

Timothy was given some significant instructions from Paul. He was counting on Timothy to be a wise and faithful spiritual leader. The end of his first letter is somewhat direct, he tells Timothy to, “guard what has been entrusted to your care.”

Spiritual matters are important. Truth matters. We need to know that there are some things we just need to avoid. There are some things we need to “run from.” There are other things we need to pursue with all of our energy. there are some things we need to be willing to “fight” for.

Prayer for today… Lord, help us to remember that the truth matters. In our “post-modern” world of relativism empower us to stand for the truth; to avoid empty arguments and to pursue godly character.