The end of the movie “Cast Away” had Tom Hank’s character, Chuck Nolan, standing in the middle of a four-way intersection gazing into flat open land stretching a panoramic horizon. After years of being trapped on a small solitary island, Chuck now had the power to choose wherever he wanted to go; explore endless creation with Wilson, join the young attractive lady who stopped to express her interest in him, or settle down at the home he just delivered his last Fed-Ex package to. Chuck took in the moment of the freedom of choice given him.
Every moment I have the same freedom of choice. I can choose to pursue the evil desires of youth or flee them (22). Some evil desires are sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like (Gal. 5:19,20).
Or I can choose to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace while calling on the Lord out of a pure heart (22). Faith is expressed in believing in God’s love when there is no evidence that he is expressing love. Love is expressed in willingly laying down selfish pursuits for someone else. Peace is obtained in actively maintaining a presence with Jesus, for he is the Prince of Peace.
Is it possible for a professing believer in Jesus to become captive to the trap of the devil (26)? Hymenaeus and Philetus were members of the Ephesus congregation (17,18) whom Timothy served as pastor. They wandered away from the truth and became trapped by the devil. Yes, a person who has the Spirit of God can wander from a close relationship with God and become trapped by the devil.
The choice is mine on how to respond to people like Hymenaeus and Philetus. Should I become trapped in the devil’s trap and quarrel with them? Or should I be kind to everyone, able to lovingly teach without resentment?