torsdag 16. februar 2017

Hunting season all year around

We have an old house in rural Drangedal in Norway. There is a lot wild life in the big forests and fish in the lakes. It is impossible not to be affected by the huge hunting interest in the municipality. I am not interested in the hunting itself, but the people’s excitement for the pursuit fascinates me. I think that we are all born with kind of hunting instinct.

Paul appeals to this hunting instinct in us in several of his letters, and the letters to Timothy are no exception:

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
I have touched these qualities worthy of pursuit earlier in the series, but today I will reflect more on the last exhortation: 
“Pursue peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart”
Why does Paul limit the pursuit for peace to those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart?

A few days back I quoted "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone" (1), but I think there is a simple explanation for the exhortation to Timothy to focus on peace with this limited target group. The reason is linked to the theme of the reflection 'Avoid quarrelling about words' which deals with the fact that there may be differences of opinion between two individuals call on the Lord from a pure heart.

The context shows that Paul was of the opinion that there were several who were focused on creating controversy for controversy’s sake, and where the pursuit of the Lord with a pure heart was more or less forgotten.

It is possible that we may still find such people in the church in our time, but I meet very many sincere believers with whom I love to share fellowship. Therefore, I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of "interdenominational meeting-series" and joint prayer-weeks for our cities. It gives an important signal to the world that we who believe, stand together and call on the Lord out of a pure heart even though we represent a diversity of views on theological issues of minor importance.

‘Manna’ for today:

Peace with everyone means unity in diversity
(1) Hebrews 12:14

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