In 2Timothy 2 Paul refers to Timothy being a “GOOD SOLDIER” – but not just any soldier, he is to be a “GOOD SOLDIER FOR CHRIST”. The first characteristic Paul refers to in this section of the letter is suffering, “suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”.
How does a military soldier suffer?
• Difficult training
• Separation from family
• On-service and/or on-call 24 hours a day
• Surrender of personal freedom and time
• Commitment to do, at any moment, the mission of superior officers
• Loss of sleep
• Attacks from enemies
• Difficult work
Paul instructs Timothy not to get “entangled in civilian pursuits”, just as a good military soldier would be trained.
What are a few examples of Christians being “entangled in civilian pursuits”?
• Pursuit of Riches
• Excessive Entertainment
• Consumed with Social Justice
Let’s take a brief look at all 3:
We are called to work, and we need to work to live; however, there is a point where the pursuit of riches becomes an obsession with the love of money, power, and influence. This is being “entangled in civilian pursuits”.
It makes sense that we would need to be entertained as a break and rest from the grind of life. But to be consumed with shows, sports, games, and other entertainment to the point where you are focused more on “it” than the study of God’s Word, prayer, fellowship, service, and the furtherance of the Gospel is to be “entangled in civilian pursuits”
We are to plead the cause of the oppressed, but for your mission to be focused entirely on social justice instead of the Gospel is to be “entangled in civilian pursuits”. After all, what is more loving, to plead the cause of the oppressed and gain justice only to see them die without Christ; or plead their cause, but more intensely plead with them to repent and believe the Gospel and be saved?