Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
Paul was writing Timothy his son in the faith. Timothy was a younger man who Paul had brought up in the Lord, and over the years he had become like a son to Paul. Here Paul gives Timothy advice for ministry and for his life. Paul at this point in his life finds himself in a Roman prison facing certain death. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Paul this would be the end of his life, and he wanted to give Timothy advice one last time. The Apostle Paul then presents godly wisdom all Christians should take to heart, should dwell and meditate upon, and then try to emulate in our lives. Here Paul gives solid spiritual advice to avoid lust, pride, desires for wealth and power, and to avoid jealousy and envy. And to do so by focusing on Jesus, and submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Paul is encouraging Timothy to not give into self-assertiveness, pride and an argumentative spirit. These are character traits which our world today values. However, they have no place in the character of God’s children. Paul goes on to tell Timothy, to avoid useless arguments that serve no purpose. Basically Paul is telling Timothy to avoid the ways of the world and to understand that right and wrong are not based on argument or debate. Rather, they’re based on the truth of God’s word and His moral laws. All these things mentioned above are the skills the world tells us we are to cultivate. The world would have us believe that this type of behavior is needed for success. However, Paul is revealing God’s truth, which contrast wonderfully for us the difference between a life spent in the world, and one spent in service to Christ Jesus our Lord.