June 30, 2008
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11
The results of the flooding in the Midwest are in: 12 people have died.
Nine men and three women were killed. A three-to-one ratio, according to statisticians, is perfectly normal when it comes to storms. As a man, I don't think that's so normal. What's the problem? Why do more men die?
Apparently, the reason is twofold: first, a higher percentage of men have jobs which keep them out in the weather when a storm hits. That's understandable. The second reason is not as easy to grasp. It seems that men have a tendency to be just a bit stubborn when it comes to the weather.
If they see some water flowing across a road, they are more inclined to say, "No little shower is going to keep me from getting where I want to go," or "I've driven this a hundred times before. I can make it." These are also the guys eager to grab a video camera and say, "Here comes the tornado. If I can get this on film, I can sell it to a major television network."
That kind of male bravado which says, "I'm going to bull my way through a storm," or "I'm going to get as close as I can to this twister," is the kind of attitude that can get a fellow killed.
The truth is this: six inches of water can reach the bottom of a car and stall it. A foot of water can float most cars, and two feet of moving water will take a vehicle downstream. Experts say even ankle-deep water can knock somebody over.
As the old commercial used to say, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."
Maybe that's why the Lord told His people to stay as far away from trouble and sin as they possibly can. That's what St. Paul was telling Timothy when he wrote, "But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness."
Stay away from the bad stuff, and get close to what's good.
That's wonderful advice, the kind of advice we should gladly follow.
Avoiding temptation to sin is what Jesus did throughout His life. When Satan enticed Him to eat some bread the Savior didn't say, "I think I'll try just a crumb or two. What could it hurt?" No, Jesus stayed away from sin. Now, because He did, because He led a perfect life, died, and rose, all who believe in Him are saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, may I have the wisdom not to flirt with temptation. Instead, let me trust Your faithfulness and pursue those things which will glorify You. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries