Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend.
In our home we have 2 cats, “Max and Smokey” and a German Shepherd named “Seth.” One of the daily happenings in our house revolves around these 3 animals. At least once every day we will observe Seth chasing one of the two cats around the house. Seth pursues them from room to room until he finally gets them cornered. Once he has them cornered he sniffs, licks and playfully nips at them, but truly he isn’t sure why he chased them in the first place and he eventually walks away. Unfortunately for Seth, there is no lasting satisfaction in this pursuit, but he is still compelled daily to undertake this pursuit once again.
Today I want to bring forth a diagnostic question for your life: “What are you pursuing?” Whether we realize it or not, each of us is pursuing something in this life. At every crossroads of choice, we are making decisions based on the path of those things we are in pursuit of. Unfortunately, like Seth too many of us are chasing things that bring no lasting satisfaction. Once we’ve obtained them, we are still unfulfilled, but because we’ve convinced ourselves that true peace and happiness are found in these things, we will continue to pursue them day after day.
I want to challenge you this morning from a letter written by the Apostle Paul to his young protégé’ Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:10-11 (NASB)
10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.
11 But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
I want us to focus on two words that Paul uses in his admonition to Timothy. Those words are “flee” and “pursue.” Flee means to run away from and has the connotation of escaping danger. Fleeing brings with it an understanding of running as fast as you can as far as you can in the opposite direction of the things that bring you harm. In this case Paul was talking about “the love of money.” This verse is one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible. Paul is not saying that money in itself is bad, in fact money is a great tool when used wisely; however, Paul is saying that a love of money leads to all manner of calamity and that Timothy should flee the things associated with this type of misplaced love. Paul understood that a love of money is similar to Seth’s love of our two cats…once you’ve obtained the object of your desire, you still find it unsatisfying.
The word pursue, on the other hand, means following with the intention of overtaking. When Seth chases our cats, he goes wherever they go. Whatever turn they take, he takes. What ever furniture they go under, he goes under. Seth does not stop until he has overtaken and “captured” the object of his desire. In the Apostle Paul’s instruction to Timothy, he lists 6 things that should be the objects of desire in our daily pursuits. These things are: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. There is a lasting quality with each of these things. Once obtained, they bring an ongoing fulfillment and satisfaction.
Today you may find yourself in a fruitless pattern. Like Seth you’ve been chasing things that look good, but leave you unfulfilled and empty. I invite you to look for a new object of desire, something that is eternal and lasting. Once you’ve identified those things, pursue them with all passion, energy and fervor.
Until next Monday, may God’s richest blessings be yours this week.