you, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, [2 timothy 3:10]

when i was a kid and i would wrestle around with my dad one of his go-to moves was to put his hand on top of my head and move it around and say, “you go where your head goes!” and he was right. if he pushed my head to the left, i went left. if he pushed my head backwards, i went backwards. your body just naturally follows the movement of your head.

in this text paul is contrasting timothy with the false teachers. he approves of the fact that timothy has followed his aim in life. what do you think paul’s aim in life was?

pre-damascus road paul’s aim in life was to pursue the traditions of the pharisees and advance himself in judaism as far as he could (galatians 1:13-14). he was so passionate about this that it even lead him to persecute the church, which he saw in opposition to his beliefs and progress. but after his encounter with Jesus, paul’s aim in life clearly changes. he drops everything and preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ. so much so, that he ”decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” [1 corinthians 2:2] this led him to travel, face persecution himself, go hungry, be imprisoned, and more.

clearly, based on his life after conversion, paul’s aim was to magnify the glory of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. because of that, his entire life changed. everything was about this one thing. and as his aim stayed true to that direction, it meant the rest of his life followed. “you go where your head goes.” you can’t split yourself and go in two directions at once. if your head goes in one direction, the rest of you will follow.

paul said timothy followed his aim in life in the same way. so, we can evaluate our lives also. if you look at your life, does it look like you are trying to pull in multiple directions? your mind is aimed after Jesus through study and scripture, but your feet are aimed in another direction through the usage of your time? your money is pushing towards Jesus through generosity but your affections are drawn towards lust or comfort? your home is a place of hospitality for others but you run fearful in the other direction when you are outside of comfortable walls?

paul’s aim in life was not changed because he woke up one morning and decided to be different. he encountered the very presence of God in the person of Jesus and he was so thoroughly transformed through the gospel that his life was never the same. may that be true of us! devote yourself to encountering the presence of God and be renewed in your aim to follow after Jesus with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength!

~ keith kozlowski