Entangled

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“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.

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Malice

-On the broad road-

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As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,

so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

Proverbs 26:21

“Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s soul.  The great thing to do is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbors whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know.  The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, pg. 28, 1st para.  HaperCollins ed. 2001

Photo credit:  T. Link