By Jennifer Slattery
I’ve always wanted to play the piano. But I’m tone deaf and have never taken lessons.
I’d love to be fit and strong. Except I hate weight training.
If only I could speak French fluently. Or Russian. Or even Greek. Only I’ve never taken a class, purchased a foreign-to-American dictionary, or any language learning software.
Obviously, wishful thinking won’t get us far, whether our goals are concrete, like losing weight or mastering a new skill, or far more profound and eternal, becoming more like Christ.
Today’s verse was written sometime between 63-65 AD. The cruel and tyrannical Nero had been in power for ten years. Recently released from prison, Paul, a first century evangelist, left one of his dearest companions, a young man named Timothy, to oversee a church in crisis
Timothy probably felt ill-equipped for the task, but didn’t—and doesn’t—expect perfection. He knows we’ll never be superhero Christians (this side of heaven). He does, however, command us to obey and to keep moving forward. Like Timothy, we’re to flee from evil and pursue righteousness.
Diōkō, the Greek word translated as pursue, means to “seek after something aggressively, like a hunter pursuing a catch (or prize).” This involves going after something with “all haste.”
I’ve never been a hunter, but I have gone hungry, and I know how focused I can become when my stomach starts to cramp.
What if I pursued righteousness with that same ravenous focus? What if I was intentional in regard to growth. When it came to to living as God desires and learning to better reflect Him?
This focus would permeate every part of my day and impact how I spent my time. My growth would not be an afterthought, something that happens as I casually continue in my Christian walk, but rather, it’d be my driving goal for every action and interaction.
The results would be exponential.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, iBelieve is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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