Today’s Reading is from Titus 3:1-11:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Do you remember that Titus has to deal with the men from Crete? Men (and women) who didn’t have the best reputation for getting along with others? Titus 1:12 says “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
Paul gives Titus a specific instruction for him in regards to his congregation “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
Not a small list eh? As easy one to follow yes? NOT! At least not for me and I’m not even from Crete with a bad reputation. 🙂 But here, these people are encouraged to be better than their reputation. They need to be submissive to their leadership, to be an obedient people, a people ready for every good work (see.. not lazy!). They are to not speak evil of anyone, they are avoid quarreling … you know that needless fighting some folks (even me) get into that has not real purpose. They are to be a gentle and courteous folk. Can you imagine it? Paul saw this possibility for the people of Crete, for the people under the guidance of Titus. They were a people not known for such qualities. And yet.. and yet Paul sees it in them and calls them into that type of behaviour.
Have you noticed God does the same for us?
Seeing something in us, and calling us to live toward that goal, that ideal, that way of being. He sees our potential in a way that no one else can. Isn’t that awesome? Like really.
It’s like when a teacher sees the potential in a student and pushes them into that potential … by giving extra work, or calling upon them to help with a task, or pointing out a skill that perhaps the student didn’t know they had until it was pointed out to them. Paul sees this need, for the people of Crete to be encouraged, and so he minds Titus to do that. To call the people to be more of what they have inside of them but don’t let out. Be something more.
That’s the same call that God has upon our lives you know? To be that something more. Doesn’t that call just want to help you do better? I know that when I am really cognizant of the fact that I am one of God’s own, that he calls me a beloved child, that it makes me want to live up to a higher standard. If someone says that I am kind or patient… it helps me all the more to be a kind and patient person.
So let us then be that. Let us then encourage it in others. Be a Titus. Be a congregant of Titus. BE MORE.
I think that’s enough for the day, we’ll do the rest of this section another day eh? 🙂