“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Tim. 2:22.
Young people have many different lusts. Examples of this can be despising your mother and father or a lack of respect for the elderly. The Bible teaches us something very different. Timothy, God’s coworker, was to exhort the elderly as a son admonishes a father. We must also not be hasty or condescending because then you have been unrighteous in your dealings with other people. It is written: “Flee youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness…” Be righteous in your dealings and the way you treat other people, whether old or young. This is just one of many examples.
In the letter to James, it is written that doubt is double mindedness. You want one thing while at the same time wanting something else. You want to believe, but you also want a portion of what this world has to offer as well. You are divided! You’re not whole-hearted. Then you are unstable in all your ways just like a wave of the sea. (James 1:5-8).
When a person is young it is easy to be assertive and to have strong opinions instead of pursuing peace. There are many youthful lusts in this area as well.
Youthful lusts are of course also present when it concerns the opposite sex. But what is it that we must we flee in this context? We must flee our own egotism and selfishness! If you only think of yourself when entering into a relationship, the end result will be terrible. Take for example the lust of the eyes: you look at this person and that person and flirt a little here and flirt a little there. Pursue love. That’s not love! We can read about love in 1 Corinthians 13. Is the love between a man and a woman another kind of love? Is it suddenly all right to follow my own selfish inclinations? No, a relationship between a man and a woman is also love—a love that can give and sacrifice—a love that understands responsibility and duty.
Everything God created was beautiful. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts.” Ecc. 3:11. You have been given grace over your life to the extent that you can read in God’s Word what you must do so that every aspect of your life can be beautiful.
The attraction between a man and a woman must pertain to all that is beautiful: It must consist of love and life within the framework of a beautiful marriage, if marriage is a part of God’s plan for you. Your relationship should be built on this foundation, rather than in an atmosphere of egotism where you simply use people and discard them afterwards. That is a truly pathetic attitude.
Flee youthful lusts!
Find tasks to fulfill; get involved! Whatever you sow, you will also reap. (Gal. 6:7) The good that you do now while you are young will benefit you greatly later in life.
Excerpt from a message by Arild Tombre in Hessenhöfe, Germany, 1999
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