Demas Was Here
“Demas loves the things of this world so much that he left me and went to Thessalonica.” 2 Timothy 4:10.
Not much was said of the man, Demas. But he was obviously a colleague of Apostle Paul for a period of time. But the brief remark Paul made of him is not to be emulated. Let’s try to paint the whole picture in just one likely possibility.
Let’s assume Demas was an ambitious young man who had always desired to serve in the Roman army. He was on the path to being recruited when he witnessed Paul’s teaching about Jesus and healing the sick in one of the gentile communities. He was touched and had a rethink on what to do with his life. He accepted Jesus and soon volunteered to work alongside Paul in the ministry. Working in the field for Christ and yet reminiscing about the power and opportunities he could have been enjoying had he joined the army and risen through the ranks was his undoing. The pride, the power, the women, the booze and the seeming lush life. Then one afternoon, when Paul and his team didn’t have enough food to eat and being beaten by the sun on their way to Jerusalem, Demas saw an old friend who had become a high-rank soldier. He looked down on himself and considered himself a failure. His friend was headed for Thessalonica and offered an opportunity. Demas dumped the parchments and abandoned the work of the ministry and headed for Thessalonica. Maybe he didn’t renounce Jesus, but he now had a different priority.
Demas was here!
The devil has a lot of tricks to sweep believers off their feet. His tricks are subtle because what he uses does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. The phrase, “things of this world” does not necessarily refer to sinful indulgences. It encompasses an obsession about the needful things of life and also an indulgence in the world’s sinful ways. We know that pornography, drugs, sexual immorality, fraud, corruption, drunkenness, etc are outright world’s sinful ways of living, but there are other negative habits like addictions to games, sports and social media, undue attention to academic and professional pursuit, consumption of wrong Christian materials, teachings and doctrines, unhealthy spiritual information, or even an extreme attitude of focusing too much on the right things but allowing other vital aspects of one’s life to suffer.
Paying too much attention to worldly affairs that are not sinful in themselves can be tricky. They sap you of your energy to stay consistent in pursuit of goals that are of greater relevance both to the kingdom of God and your ultimate purpose in life. Sometimes you may need to take a break and evaluate your priorities and see whether they have become skewed towards earthly pursuits at the expense of your greater calling. Ask yourself how each activity you find yourself doing contribute to your purpose.
To be continued next week.
-Tope S. Aladenusi