“Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me”
(2 Timothy 4:10)
Little is known of Demas. He was clearly a dedicated and able person. He is mentioned favourably by Paul twice in connection with his travels. He would have endured the same hardships as Paul during this time and, when Paul was in prison because of his faith, have been in danger of imprisonment himself.
But then this sad little comment is included in Paul’s letter to Timothy. ‘Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me.’ There is no indication that Demas had renounced the faith or become immoral or corrupt. The only indication we have is that his priorities had moved. It would seem that he might have decided that there had been enough of self-denial and the time had come to enjoy life through what the world had to offer instead.
The things of the world had become more attractive and important than the things of Christ. And he may not even have realised it. It can so easily happen and often the process is barely discernable. A slight drawing back, a ‘going through the motions’ in prayer and worship, a cooling in our personal relationship with the Lord and a involvement in other little pleasures. Before we know it Jesus is no longer our ‘centre’ or our ‘all in all.’ He becomes the duty and the things of the world the ‘reward.’
The world with its values and offerings can force itself upon us or attract us into the side-roads of life. It is as we stay focussed upon the Lord, and cherish our relationship with Him, that we will hear His warning as He calls us back again,
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
Look to your relationship with The Lord – it is the most important in your life.
Forgive me Lord if I have wandered off into the ways of the world. Help me to see the truth and to return to You. Please ‘grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.’ (Psalm 51:12) Amen.