If you are anything like me, you were not a fan of English class in any level of school. I mean, after all, I was born in Kentucky. Why do I need to learn English? I done already knowed it.
But sometimes it’s important to pay attention to grammar. I am convinced that God uses certain verbs in the Bible for a reason. As an example, take a look at 1 Tim 6:11 & 12. Paul challenges Timothy with a number of things and uses some key verbs to help do so. He uses verbs of action, extreme action.
In verse 11, Timothy is urged to “flee” the false doctrine and love for money spoken of in verses 3-10. In other passages, Paul urges Christians to flee sexual immorality, idolatry and youthful lusts. Flee – not walk or amble away, but flee! Not toy with, but flee! Turn and run! What kind of picture does the word “flee” paint for you?
Further in verse 11, Paul counters fleeing by calling him to “pursue” something. That something is righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Again, Paul uses a very active verb. Pursue – not look toward, but pursue! Not take a leisurely stroll, but pursue! In this word, I see a focused, dogged determination toward a goal of godliness.
Verse 12 challenges Timothy to “fight” the good fight of the faith. How easily do we give up the fight when things getting difficult? Trust me; I have been there more times than I would like to remember. This causes me to think of watching Lucas play ‘sword duel’ on our Wii game. He never stops whacking at the opponents until they fall into the water. He moves closer and closer to the TV, swinging his arms, sweating and panting. That, my friend, is fighting.
Fighting the good fight is followed with a call to “take hold” of the eternal life. I picture taking hold as both arms wrapped around it and not letting go, refusing to waiver from my faith.
How ‘energetic is your walk of faith? Does it involve fleeing sin and pursuing godliness? How about fighting the fight of the faith or holding fast to the promises that God has made to us? Don’t be a Christian couch potato! Look at the verbs! Be active!