Fleeing temporal influences and pursuing biblical virtue.

Paul continues to address Pastor Timothy directly, yet there is still something for every Christian to learn from his words. Instructions to pastors affect the whole church, because a flock naturally becomes like its pastor.


Paul gives Timothy four commands in 1 Timothy 6:11-16. This week, we will look at two of them from verse 11.


First, Paul tells Timothy to remove himself from the teaching and lifestyle practices of the false teachers discussed in 1 Timothy 6:3-5. They lived for the present, temporal world and were distracted from godliness. Timothy was to flee their influence with the urgency of a fugitive.

"These things" refers to the materialism of the previous verses. Here is a practical test for whether you are fleeing ungodliness: to see where your heart is, examine your checkbook. The only treasures we will have in Heaven are crowns and souls that we have won on earth (Matthew 6:19-21, Revelation 2:1-5).

The phrase "man of God" reminds Timothy why he is to flee. He sets the example for believers as their pastor. This description is only applied to Timothy in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, it was used of Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, David, and more. The "man of God" was often a prophet who rebuked those who strayed from the truth, while standing strong for those still holding to the truth. This is what all pastors should be while they live separate from worldliness.


Paul lists six virtues for Timothy to pursue instead of worldliness.

  1. Righteousness personal integrity shown through one's outward actions.
  2. Godliness – the condition of one's inward heart, the spring of righteousness.
  3. Faith – faithfulness and dependability.
  4. Love – sacrificial giving and service.
  5. Patience – faithfulness under affliction. (See 2 Peter 1:5-7.)
  6. Gentleness – meekness, or power under control. Kindness that comes from a depth of integrity.

All of these characteristics are the opposite of false teachers. This is a good list to use to evaluate others and yourself. Are you unintentionally leading others away from truth? You can't fake these virtues in a disciple-making church.

Application Points

  • There are no spiritual lone rangers. Follow someone who is following Christ.
  • Heads of homes, how are you governing your life for eternal purposes? How do you set an example for your household with the use of your financial resources? This is not about amounts, but is an issue of the heart. Is your goal to be a giver?
  • Take some time to evaluate yourself: Are you living for the temporary, or are you using all you have for eternal purposes? Living for things poses a great danger to your family and your church. Do you need to make some radical adjustments?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Genesis 39:7-12, 1 Samuel 27:1, 1 Samuel 19:18 – Old Testament examples of saints fleeing ungodly influences.
  • 2 Timothy 4:10 – Demas allowed himself to be distracted.
  • Deuteronomy 33:1, 1 Kings 13:1-8, 1 Kings 17:24, 2 Kings 5:8, 2 Chronicles 8:14, 2 Timothy 3:17 – Other uses of "man of God."
  • Acts 20:33-35 – Paul's attitude mirrored the ultimate Servant.
A Hymn to Encourage: "May the Lord Find Us Faithful"

God has not given us the spirit of fear, But has given us the strength to obey.
With power and sound mind, with love the unfailing kind, Oh, be not ashamed of His way.

May the Lord find us faithful, May His Word be our banner held high.
May the Lord find us faithful, every day, though we live, though we die.

No man that seeketh after things of this life is a soldier who passes the test.
Be faithful, be working, be running, be serving, Be searching His word for His best.

May the Lord find us faithful, May His Word be our banner held high.
May the Lord find us faithful, every day, though we live, though we die.

Living or dying, may honor be Thine. From this wretched life, You loved and forgave.
A life that is on fire, be only our heart's desire, Be faithful from now to the grave.

May the Lord find us faithful. May His Word be our banner held high.
May the Lord find us faithful every day, though we live, though we die.