2 Tim 2:22 states, “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Here Paul is presenting what it means to become a vessel of honor, sanctified, useful, and prepared for good works. A person needs to flee youthful lusts. The image is a person fleeing, running, racing away from something evil, abhorrent, terrifying, danger. They are not just fleeing aimlessly but rather the person is fleeing towards safety through establishing distance between them and the perceived danger. The word also carries the idea that the person will escape safely from this danger, that is, youthful lusts. However, if we do not aim towards something, we surely will find “safety” in another danger or addiction or sin. Therefore, Paul completes the image by stating that we need to flee in pursuit of righteousness, faith, love, and peace. It is not just running into a shelter waiting to provide refuge, but racing in order to overcome the object. The person fleeing from youthful lusts is to ran after the things of God in such a way as to over-run, to capture, to arrest, to take hold of, to tackle. So if we fail to pursue righteousness we will pursue perceived righteousness or God’s will and fall into another one of Satan’s traps. But the text does not stop there! Not only are we to flee from anything immoral (pornographic material), we are to pursue righteousness with the body of Christ! Note that the text says, “with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.” Paul qualifies the person(s) who we are to flee sin with. They are to be pursuing God with a pure heart, that is, without any impurity or mixture. The pure heart was a heart that only had one passion, one goal, undivided. This pure heart is without guilt and free of corrupt desire, regenerate. We cannot flee sin and pursue God without the aid of the community of God. Paul knows that we grow faint so easily. We need the encouragement of one another to pursue the things of God.
So (1.) in what ways are you fleeing your sin? In what ways can we flee the traps of pornography? Using the computer in a public setting? Eliminating useless computer time? Eliminating any down time? Develop a hobby or some type of recreation? Rid our houses/apartments/condos of anything that will ensnare our minds like magazines? Canceling cable? (2.) In what ways can we pursue God better? Spiritual disciplines? Fasting? Journaling? Praying? Devotions? Accountability? Church attendance? (3.) Who can you develop a friendship with in order to encourage you to grow spiritually? Friends at work? Friends at Sunday school class? Neighbors? Elders? Deacons? Pastors? Old buddies from the past.