1 Timothy 6:11-12
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Paul writes to Timothy with great concern and care for Timothy’s spiritual condition, his role as a man of God, and his conduct, and he lays things out very plainly. There is a conflicting viewpoint in the larger society. There is the overarching worldly perspective that dominates the ideas and behaviors of people to seek to accumulate as much as possible. But as ministers of God and as people of God, we’re called to live differently and, in some cases, in opposition to what is considered to be the normal and right and expected way to live.
So instead of pursuing those things, we’re to flee from them and seek something else instead. Ours is not a pursuit of riches and worldly gain. It’s not a thirst for money and being consumed by accumulating more and more things, but we are to be rich in righteousness, rich in godliness, rich in faith, rich in love, rich in patience, rich in meekness. These are the kinds of things we are to accumulate. There is an infinite store of them available to us. We can draw from God’s supply and be filled to overflowing with them.
How would being rich in each of these things manifest in our lives? What if we really pursued these good things with a kind of covetous heart to attain all we can of them? What difference would that make first in our own hearts and lives, our families, our churches, and the world around us for us to pursue them in abundance? It is a worthwhile pursuit, but it takes action, determination, commitment, and conscious and purposeful choices to live a godly life. We have to put in the necessary effort and treat it like the battle it is.
It’s not always easy to live this way. But how did we get to a place where it must be easy or we won’t even try? How have we adopted a Christianity that only serves us and doesn’t require us to serve? How have we allowed attitudes to creep in that tell us it is impossible or not worth pursuing the righteous, holy lives that Christ Himself called us to live? In our own lives of serving and seeking the Lord, it’s about a series of choices of what we will flee from and what we will follow after. May we hold ourselves to Christ’s high standard and seek after these good things with a focused pursuit.