Monday, April 29, 2013

Set an Example


“Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”- Titus 3:1-2

Titus is a letter written by Paul to a leader/pastor in Crete by the name of, you guessed it, Titus. Crete was an area known to be full of people that were pretty dishonest and lived lives that most would deem despicable. Paul left Titus in Crete to “set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city” (1:5) and he felt he needed to write a letter to Titus to encourage him to continue the ministry and share with him ways to teach the people.

As Paul teaches Titus through the letter, he also encourages him to remind the people of certain topics that apparently they have been taught before, otherwise they wouldn’t need reminding. I wonder if, due to the reputation of the people of Crete, the followers of Christ found themselves giving in to some of their cultural or societal norms. Let’s look at the topics and I’ll share my thoughts:

1)      “be subject to rulers, to authorities”- Now, this does not mean to bow down or give our devotion to the rulers, but to realize that they are in charge.
We should follow their lead and, as long as they do not go against God, follow the laws placed on us by them.

2)      “to be obedient”-  This is difficult at times, but once again, we must be willing to swallow our pride and follow the lead of those who are ahead of us. Most importantly, the commands of Jesus are meant to be obeyed, which is possibly why Paul follows this piece up with…

3)      “to be ready for every good deed”- If we are obedient to Christ and follow the laws that are placed before us by the “rulers and authorities”, then we should be ready for every good deed. Let us be aware of the opportunities that fall upon us and act on them as we have the ability to do so.

4)      “Malign no one”- Let’s be honest, we hate this one. Especially in our culture and society of gossip columns, shows based on judgment, and social media, we find it easy and acceptable to “malign” others. The NIV translation says “slander no one”, ouch! Let us be aware of the example we set when we take part in slanderous speech about ANYONE! There are no exceptions, even if they aren’t necessarily walking with Jesus.

5)      “Be peaceable and gentle”- We need to be focused on being peacemakers. Do not cause strife among your brothers in Christ, but also in the community around you. People should know us by our love towards one another and others that aren’t apart of the Christian faith.

6)       Finally, “Showing every consideration for all men”- This makes me want to say “What? I have the right of way!” However, that thought is completely contradictory. We need to be careful to not put our own wants ahead of another person’s needs. Let us be unselfish in our actions and allow for God’s name to be glorified in the lives of others due to our willingness to consider them equal to or greater than ourselves.

This is how Paul decided to end the letter to Titus. He ended it with difficult words for most to accept. As I stated earlier, in a society and culture that goes completely against these ideas, let us set an example for those who are watching Christ’s Church.

May our actions be pleasing to God and may we be the examples we are meant to be as we love, serve, and share all for the glory of our Creator.

QUESTION: How can you set a better example for the Christ today?

2 comments:

Paul Hodi said...

Great insights Bobby. I'm really encouraged to see you taking a stand for Christ and count it a privilege (years after being classmates) to call you a brother. Keep it up.

Bobby Benavides said...

Thanks Paul! That means a lot man! I aim to bring glory to Him above all else. That is the goals of this blog. Hopefully people are encouraged and hear that message. Peace my friend!