2 Timothy 2:22 says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Notice the double command here? Paul commands Timothy to both flee and pursue. Flee what is evil, pursue what is good. True repentance is not just fleeing, for what will you run to if you don’t pursue something else that is “good?” Just the same, true repentance is not just pursuing, for you cannot pursue what is good while remaining in what is evil. True repentance always has both.
But think about this deeper. Often we find ourselves fleeing certain sins, not because we want Jesus instead, but because we want to feed another idol. Let me explain. Say a man wants to be a godly man, so when he see’s a scantily clad woman on a TV commercial he turns his eyes away. You may think – good! But wait. Why does he turn away? Is it because he wants Jesus more than the frame of a woman? Or is it because he wants to uphold his reputation as a godly man before the eyes of his friends or his church? One is a righteous motivation. The other is not. Do you know which?
Do you see how deep sin gets into our motives, choices, thoughts, and behaviors? When you flee one sin to feed another sinful idol in your life, you’re not fighting sin, your feeding evil.
Flee and pursue, flee and pursue.