“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life” (2 Timothy 2:4). The word for “entangle”, which also occurs in 2 Peter 2:20, means to be so wrapped up in something that movement is hindered. This is the term the Greeks would have used to describe a rabbit ensnared in a thorn patch.
Peter’s letter admonished followers not to return to past sins, but Paul was emphasizing a different lesson: He was warning Timothy against allowing essential daily pursuits to supersede a commitment to Christ. Paul himself at times worked as a tent-maker while carrying on with ministry; however, he realized there was potential for an occupation to become all-consuming, to the detriment of a person’s spiritual life.
Growing and managing wealth, providing for one’s family, and taking advantage of leisure time are important activities. In fact, God encourages all of them. However, these blessings are not to become distractions that draw believers away from church or regular prayer and Bible study. Nor are we to compartmentalize our life into “Christian ministry” and “regular work/play”. We are Christ’s soldiers, no matter where we are or what we are doing – there is no such thing as a part-time warrior.
It’s important for believers not to draw artificial boundary lines between the secular and the sacred. Everything God gives – from vocation and wealth to leisure activities – is to be used for His glory. By keeping priorities straight and activities in balance, you can prevent hobbies and interests from becoming a snare.
Commentary from the In Touch Devotional by Charles Stanley, June 7, 2017.
As you continue your attempts to purchase the favor of your god with the souls of men, consider:
For the entire law is fulfilled
in one statement:
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Therefore, whatever you want others
to do for you,
do also the same for them-
this is the Law and the Prophets.
You must really hate yourselves.
It appears that you hate God as well, because you do not fear Him.
There are fifteen specific behaviors mentioned in the Bible that have to cease should you decide to follow Christ.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance-as I told you before-that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
It’s not easy to walk away from the things our human nature loves. Oh, how I wish it were! But then, I wouldn’t be weak. If I weren’t weak, I would not need to rely upon my God. This actually would not be a good thing, since God is on such a higher level than I am, and at the same time wants what is best for me. I have learned that I don’t know what is best for me. How could I? I have a fallen nature that desperately needs saving, and I don’t know everything. A lot of people I meet want to be ‘religious’, but they prefer to straddle the fence between heaven and earth. I even did that for awhile, not fully understanding I had one foot still in the world. God has taught me and guided me every step of the way, that I was still not fully committed to Him. He has shown me that choosing to be lukewarm toward Him is choosing the world. I don’t want this world. I only want my God. I choose Him.
Christians are not perfect, but they are sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction and are quick to return to the Lord in repentance. In fact, they are actually grateful for being corrected and praise God for drawing them back to obedience.