Our calling as pastors includes running. Lots of it. I’m thinking in particular of Paul’s words in his first letter to Timothy: “You, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from . . .” (1 Timothy 6:11 NLT).
The word run comes from the Greek term pheugo. We get our word fugitive from it. It may sound strange at first, but we who are called to minister are like a fugitive.
We should be constantly fleeing from evil.
6 Things to Run From
Paul’s letters contain certain things that the man of God is to run from. In fact, you and I will be running from these for the rest of our days:
- Immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18).
- Idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14).
- Arrogance and conceit (1 Timothy 6:3–4).
- Covetousness (1 Timothy 6:6–10). Guard against every temptation to covet your parishioners’ salaries (you will rarely make as much as they do) or longing for the things they own.
- Youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22).
- Quarrelsomeness (2 Timothy 2:24). I urge you to be known as a person who keeps the unity of the Spirit, rather than one who disturbs the peace of God’s saints.
An older man in ministry once shared with me four common things that cause a minister to fall: silver, sloth, sex, and self.
Flee from those things as they relate to evil. That’s right. Run!
May the things God calls us to flee from never be associated with you . . . or with me.
Next week, I’ll write about what we should follow after.