I was reading a blog post at when the writer mentioned Titus 2:11-14, which states, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” The part that particularly caught my eye was “…training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,waiting for our blessed hope…” This stood out to me because it’s been something that Lord has laid on my heart and convicted me about.
We’re all aware (I should hope) that we ought to avoid those things that are obviously ungodly like lying, hating, lusting, slandering and so forth. However, it’s the “worldly passions” that are not always so easy to detect, often because they aren’t always blatantly ungodly. These passions can end up being incredibly destructive in the end, like a frog in hot water. I think another way of saying “worldly passions” would be “things that distract us from worshiping, glorifying and/or walking with the Lord.” What are those things? Money, sports, family/relationships, jobs, school, hobbies, ambitions, etc. They can be matters of high importance or they can be completely pointless. These are also what Jesus was talking about in Matt. 13:22, in the Parable of the Sower, when He said, “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” It’s not just the pleasures of the world that can distract us. The legitimate cares and responsibilities of our daily lives can just as easily overshadow the Word.
The reason I’m writing this is because I have a handful of hobbies and interests that I tend to obsess about, and I’m often quick to add more. The problem is, at some point, invariably I end up wondering why my walk with the Lord is suffering. I see it in my increased selfishness, anger, impatience, lust, and pride, all of which should be red flags that the Word is being pushed aside by my own worldly passions. The worst part is that I’m replacing the “blessed hope” with temporary and pointless desires that ultimately go unfulfilled. One of the ways the Lord is working in me is by asking myself “Does what I’m doing right now actually glorify God?” More often than not, it’s no. They’re often seemingly innocuous situations and distractions, but when I realize that I could be praying, reading Scripture, thinking about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:8), or giving a word of encouragement, it changes my perspective. As C.S. Lewis put it, “All that is not eternal, is eternally useless.”