“ But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV)
We live in a world with a lot of temptations that can draw us away from our relationship with God and living the way we should live. Earlier in the chapter, Paul mentioned the problems that could engulf us. Among those problems are greed, discord, arguing, strife and many others. The problem most of us have when we recognize that something’s wrong in our lives is that we try to fix the thing that’s wrong. What happens then is that we focus on the problem so much that, either the problem becomes worse or the other problems grow. Paul’s remarks to Timothy provide a much better path to dealing with things we don’t like about ourselves: pursue godly qualities.
The reason this works is that when you focus on doing things God’s way, instead of not doing bad things, your focus is on the positive things of God. If I eliminate greed from my life, but don’t replace it with generosity, for instance, there’s a void in my life where greed can return, or another bad quality can come in. When I focus on generosity, in that instance, I’ve pushed greed out and replaced it with a care and concern for others. There’s no room for any bad quality to worm itself into my life. We all have things in our lives that we don’t like. Focus on pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness, and generosity, (Yeah, I added that last one.) and you’ll discover that the differences in your life will be permanent. Do the good stuff and you won’t have time for the bad stuff.
Lord, if I’m honest, I can admit to a lot of character flaws, and recognize that I can’t change things on my own. Help me as I seek to replace those flaws with righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.