“You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.” 2 Timothy 4:3-5

As I watched the little girl on the television show chase her dog through the streets of the city, I had a feeling something bad was about to happen. (It was just that kind of show!) That pup led her through streets and alleyways, probably much, much further from her home than she intended to go. It seemed she was paying no attention to the scenery around her, or how dangerous her quest was becoming. Regardless of the consequences, she was going to chase that dog!

We as Christians can be that way, too. When we pay no attention to the totality of God’s word, we can begin to pursue things that aren’t pleasing to Him. Paul called them “mirages” because there really isn’t any substance there. Yes, we may start out with good intentions, but we don’t mind our surroundings and eventually something unpleasant will happen to us: we begin to turn our backs on God’s truth.

So, what are you chasing today? Is it the One who holds all truth, or is it some whim your cousin’s best friend’s third wife dreamed up? Instead of rightly dividing the word, are you pursuing some “flavor of the month” doctrine that makes you feel good about the things you’ve been doing? These are serious questions we must ponder, so that we don’t end up chasing fallacy and end up in a spot we shouldn’t be in. The good news, though, is that no matter how far from “home” we find ourselves, God is always there to show us the way back to Him.