But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. 1 Timothy 6:11-12a
I've always loved Winnie the Pooh.
Maybe that's why when I came across The Associated Press story about a modern-day Winnie the Pooh, I had to read further.
The story told how a Montana grizzly bear had been raiding commercial beehives. According to a state bear management specialist, the bear had wandered about 20 miles from his home in search of food. The bear thought he had entered bear heaven when he stumbled across the unprotected hives.
Isn't that cute? I thought to myself.
Then, I realized we were talking about a 575-pound grizzly bear.
There are a lot of words that can be used to describe a grizzly that is storing up food for the winter. You can call a grizzly voracious. You can call him a scavenger. You can call him noble, impressive, fearsome, or powerful.
But one thing you should not call a grizzly is "cute."
That kind of thinking can get people (and bears) into trouble.
The bear thought the honey hives were cute and delicious to the eye. His wrong judgment got him trapped, collared, and transported to a remote location.
From Eve until this very day, people have thought the world's temptations were cute and innocent. When we do that, the devil springs his traps. This shows us there is nothing cute about disobeying the Lord and disregarding His Son who came into this world to save us.
To encourage believers to follow the Savior who gave His life so we might be forgiven, freed, and safe from Satan, Paul wrote our text for today: "flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith."
Pursing godliness rather than the world's tempting honey may not sound like a lot of fun, but in the eternal scheme of things, fleeing Satan's seductions is far safer, more sensible, and savvy.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, the world is constantly inventing things and stuff designed to woo me away from You. Watch my eye, my heart, my soul, so I may believe and look to the Savior who gave me all I need. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries