Our passionate pursuit

 A watching world has had much to see from the church.

Think of all the scandals that have emerged from churches in recent years. Infidelity seems to be a recurring theme. Sexual abuse keeps lurking. Then there’s the money.

I don’t blame people outside the church for keeping a scrutinous eye on church leaders. There’s been too much wrongdoing for anyone to ignore. While many unbelievers gladly denounce the church and its leaders, many believers set out in the opposite direction.

It seems like every time some pastor or church leader steps down due to spiritual failings someone knew beforehand. People knew and church systems protected the leader. Instead of seeking what is right, churches sought what would keep their congregation running.

In today’s devotional reading, presumably, the apostle Paul instructs the younger preacher Timothy. The younger has a strong faith. He may be a bit shy and nervous about the work he has to do, but he has had a faithful family and mentor that have shown him the way of Jesus.

He may not be ready, but he is prepared.

Paul warns Timothy of the trappings of wanting to be rich. It’s not that riches are problematic in and of themselves. It’s our desire to have them that entangle us. “Those who want to be rich fall into temptation,” Paul said. That’s a word of caution for church leaders today, too.

And not just leaders. To all who call themselves believers. We can’t serve two masters. Many have tried and the result is what the world sees in us. Whether it’s the master of money, power or status, they all lead us to temptation. So, Paul admonishes Timothy to pursue righteousness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.

We can tell what we are pursuing. You can tell what I’m pursuing, for example. That is, whether I’m pursuing righteousness or not should be noticeable. Now, that makes some people uncomfortable. You might think, “That sounds like judging.” You’re right. If you’re making an assessment of my life’s pursuit, you’re judging me.

But you’re not judging my soul. You’re judging the fruit of my walk with God. Only God can judge my soul. But the fruit of my pursuit of God’s kingdom is for all people to see.

Yours, too.

I know many people want to see the church crumble. It almost brings them joy when a new scandal surfaces. Someone like that might not care to see any other aspect of the church. But I want to make sure the world sees the fruit of our pursuit of righteousness.

There’s no need to put on a show or call attention to ourselves. It should be obvious, though, what is most important to us as God’s people. Not money, control, power or even our own comfort. Instead, let’s show the world the difference the love of God makes. We’re prepared for this.

Stay blessed…john

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

John Fletcher

Recent Posts


Social Links