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Youthful passions.


That the Apostle Paul warned his colleague Timothy about youthful passions could lead us down the wrong application path. Yes, Timothy was thought to be younger. People had ridiculed him about his youth and perhaps immature ways. But, no, the passions intended by the Apostle were not typical of youngsters exploring the facts of life. Note the lesson plan---


So flee youth passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with

those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2: 22, ESV


That peace was among the spiritual traits Timothy was advised to pursue moves the Apostle's instruction to troublesome human practices that defy age and complicate life far beyond the earlier years. Evidently Paul wanted Timothy to get a handle on several relational issues beyond inner peace. Of course, this inner peace is the guardian of our hearts and minds, the topic yesterday. But, the idea of peace with other people is perhaps our greatest challenge, the hope that this personal peace will calm the blazing heat that so often places people at odds. It's really a fresh word for right now because so many emotions are lighting fires of discontent in so many lives. Make note of the Apostle's continuing warning---


Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed

quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to

teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may

perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may

come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by

him to do his will.

2 Timothy 2: 23-26, ESV


Now the need for peace is more evident. Paul advised Timothy to pursue peace because he lived in a quarrelsome world. Avoiding ignorant controversies through kindness, learning, patience, and gentleness would give Timothy a redemptive edge in a world of contention. Even more, these gracious attributes would provide a witness of truth to the people who were so geared for strife, anger, argument, and conflict. Paul wanted the example of Timothy to so influence others into order to bring them to their senses. Pursuing peace should be his life directive.


Pursuing peace with others is a biblical theme.


Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34: 14, ESV


So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Romans 14: 19, ESV


Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the

Lord.

Hebrews 12: 14, ESV


For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil

and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good;

let him seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3: 10-11, ESV


Two thousand years later these Scriptures touch a need that is so obvious in the current cultural setting. We live in an angry world. Whether in daily lifestyles, opinions and biases, political intrigue, economic realities, wealth distribution, cultural shifts, and even simple life choices emotions can be inflamed at the drop of a hat. Racial tensions, gender inequalities, class warfare, government intrusion, and so many other crises pit us against one another as perhaps never before in our nation's history. Pursuing, striving, and seeking peace may be our path to relational calm even with our many differences. If the Apostle's advice in dependable, which I believe as Scripture it is, the witness of one peace seeker may help other angry Americans come to their senses.


And, right now, pursuing peace makes good sense. It is our way beyond the youthful passions that make us so quarrelsome, and at times, dangerous.


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