Theme of the Week: Titus
Bible Verse: Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. Titus 3:1-2
Scripture Reading: Titus 3:1-11
This is a tough passage to end on. It’s probably worth a week of devotions all on its own, but it seems to sum up the entire letter to Titus. I’m just glad that I’m not writing about this passage a couple of years ago.
It’s difficult to talk about being subject to rulers and authorities. There is a lot of emotion around that topic, and a lot of legitimate concerns. Fortunately, Paul doesn’t tell Titus to remind the people to agree with the government. He doesn’t even say that the government is always right and worthy of being obeyed and subject to.
Paul simply says that government, as government, is to be subject to and obeyed. Whether it is public health mandates, gun laws, speed limits, or where they spend our tax dollars. There are no qualifications on what to be subject to, how or when, or whether or not we feel like it. And “doing good” is not positioned in opposition to being subject to rulers as though we are doing good by our civil disobedience.
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He includes the way we talk about those who are in governance. We talk about them respectfully, without slander. In public or in private. If we need to have a political bumper sticker, it is respectful and not crass or crude and does not assign blame or a nickname to those in leadership.
Rather, followers of Jesus are to be peaceable and considerate and gentle, ready to do good at every turn.
All throughout the letter to Titus, Paul returns to the idea that followers of Jesus are to be devoted to the good. We are to love what is good (1:8), teach what is good (2:3), do what is good (2:7), be eager to do what is good (2:14), ready to do what is good (3:1), devoted to doing what is good (3:8 and 3:14).
In both belief and actions, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, we are to love and do what is good.
Prayer: Jesus, it is hard to live in a world broken by sin. But in that world, we are to stand out by the good we do. Help me to see the good that I can do and to serve you and your kingdom by doing it.
Reflection: How difficult is it for you to follow these verses and be subject to governing authorities? To be peaceable and respectful? What might you need to change in order for you to follow these verses?
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