By Joe Slater
“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all'” (1 5:15). Thessalonians
In the text above, Paul’s word pursue is the same as “persecute elsewhere in the New Testament. It means to chase. Saul persecuted Christians by chasing them down to harm them. After becoming a Christian, the same man urged the Thessalonians to chase what was good for themselves and else. everyone By contrast, he urged them not to seek payback for ill treatment. Too many are bent on revenge! Jesus taught His disciples to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
Revenge appeals to the it. above rise calls to God flesh, but us Paul exhorted Timothy to flee the love of money and all the pitfalls that go with it, and to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness”” (1 Timothy 6:9-11). A few years later Paul urged him similarly: “Flee also youthful lusts: but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2Timothy2:22).
Successfully chasing something takes energy; it takes time; it takes determination and perseverance. Is what you catch worth the effort? If you’re chasing revenge, money, or fulfillment of the fleshly appetites, you might say “yes” at first, but in the long run you’ll be disappointed. The pursuit of righteousness and good things, however, yields rich rewards both now and eternally.
Church of Christ in Justin, TX.
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