I was meeting with a young man for breakfast, and 2 Timothy 2:22 was a central pivot of our discussion as followers of Christ.
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (ESV)
The gist of our conversation was along these lines.
“Most people”, I said, “when they read this verse see four things that are to be pursued as we “flee youthful passions. They see, righteousness, faith, love and peace but they miss a fifth thing that is to be pursued and it may be the most important help in the process of fleeing youthful passions.”
“It’s that final phrase, “along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart”. Community, friendship, a camaraderie of traveling together, a knowing that we need the help of the body, of the one-anothering that is so prominent in the language of the epistles.
“Love one another” (10x)
“Be of the same mind toward one another” (2x)
“Be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving to one another” (2x)
“Encourage one another” (3x)
“Greet one another with a holy kiss of love” (3x)
“Admonish one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (2x)
“Do not complain against one another” (2x)
and 24 other 1x appearances of something we should do with “one another”
As one of my former mentors has said, “One-anothering is a big deal in our sanctification into what Jesus wants us to be.”
We don’t become like Him without one another. Period. Full stop.
Let’s remember this as we disciple and are discipled into the love of Christ. Ten times in the New Testament we are commanded to love one another. Doing the “one anothers” is how we do that. And it is how we demonstrate to the world that we belong to Him (John 13:34-35; 15:12-17).