I've read this book several times before. Each time, this particular part creeps me out:
Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.
Demas left Paul. He was in his cadre, served alongside him as a fellow-worker in the Gospel effort. Demas only gets three verses of press and the other two talk about his being with Paul in the work of the Gospel. And then this bombshell.
He loved this present world.
He has deserted me.
Certainly we've all felt the pain of desertion (or we probably will). For instance, divorce is desertion. Or a friendship that led to a business partnership dissolved when the economy got tough. Now your families don't even speak, much less vacation together. Or folks you were tight with at church decide their needs aren't getting met and head across town. On and on we could go. I guess this verse in 2 Timothy haunts me for Paul's sake.
But it also haunts me for mine. Demas didn't just desert Paul. He deserted the Gospel work. That's the part that really gets me. He turned his back on ministry. I've seen folks leave burned or bruised. But Demas left for a different reason: he loved this present world. He wasn't willing to suffer for the Gospel. Ease over Truth. Compromise, not righteousness.
I don't want to be that guy.
But that's just me thinking thoughts (and saying prayers for perseverance in the work)...