Fleeing is sometimes the best option

Published 6:12 pm Friday, September 2, 2016

There is no need for me to deny that I have many flaws and things with which I struggle. One of those is remembering names.

People are important to me and I remember details about them, but putting a name with the face is a challenge for me. There is, however, one name that I remember well, even though I have not seen her for many years. Her name was Missy and she was a little short-haired dog that belonged to a family that I visited out in the country.

Missy had a good disposition at one time, but after she became a mother things changed. That change of personality included a deep dislike of preachers and hospice chaplains—especially regarding this one. I never bothered her puppies, but that did not gain me any favor in her eyes. I recall one day in particular as I made my way to my car after visiting the family, Missy pursued me with full speed. I beat her to the car, but just as I was about to pull my leg in and close the door she grabbed my shoe and peeled back a chunk of leather on top of it. Everything turned out fine for both me and Missy, but it made me appreciate the value of fleeing when danger approaches. Even though Missy was not much bigger than a large housecat, I did not have too much pride to escape while I had a chance!

Email newsletter signup

As the apostle Paul was writing to a young preacher by the name of Timothy and giving him some solid guidance and imparting Godly wisdom to him, he included this bit of advice: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11, New International Version).

Paul had warned Timothy of the destructive dangers that he would be tempted with. It was in this context that he reminded Timothy of the many evils that result from the love of money. Such a desire to get rich, Paul warned, could lead to spiritual detriment and severe grief. The best remedy was to flee from such things before the damage was done.

There are times when we need to run from situations which we know to be harmful to us spiritually. If we linger and try to reason and rationalize, chances are very high that we will succumb to whatever the temptation is that is coming against us.

When Missy got after me, I did not stop and try to negotiate with her or stall to show my pride. I fled because I knew that her plans for me were not in my best interest. We can be certain that, on a much larger scale, Satan—the devil and deceiver who opposes everything that is righteous and good–, has his sights on our spiritual destruction. When he comes against us and throws his attractive bait of temptation into our paths, we are wise to resist him, and sometimes our best resistance is to remove ourselves as quickly as possible from the circumstances that are seeking to thrust us into sin. James 4:7 instructs us to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”