As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience…
In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.
Dear God, I used to see myself as the “young men” in these passages, but I suppose I have aged into being the “older men.” I would guess that it is hard for a young pastor to lead older men. I’ll confess that I have times when I look at a younger person who means well but just doesn’t have the experience yet to see what I see. Of course, there are those who see me and think the same thing. It comes up most with parenting. Now that my children are in their 20s, I find that I have a low tolerance for advice from people whose children are not yet teenagers. They just don’t know, and I hope they never do, how tricky it can be.
So what does the young pastor do? What do I, as a 50-year-old lay person, do? Well, it’s pretty easy according to this passage. Exercise self control. Be respectable. Live wisely. Have integrity. Of course, with Paul, it always seems to come back to what he told the Galatians about the fruit of the Spirit. If I have the Holy Spirit then these things will start to grow out of me naturally: love, joy, peace, patients, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, self control, etc.
I’ve been really troubled lately by seeing some of the local pastoral leadership in our community start to take sides in the tug of war happening on social media. And it’s not like they are leading in positivity. They are ridiculing the positions of others. They are making light of things that concern others. They are seemingly seeing only one side of a few given issues of which I think there are at least two legitimate sides. It’s been disheartening.
Father, help me to exercise self control, live wisely and respectably, and sacrifice anything necessary to maintain integrity. And do it all for your glory and not mine. I really don’t want to increase. I want to decrease so that you will increase. Be glorified through my life and draw others to yourself through me.
In Jesus’s name I pray,
September 11, 2020 at 10:37 pm
Excellent! Thank you, John.