Theme of the Week: Titus
Bible Verse: Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Titus 2:2
Scripture Reading: Titus 2:1-2
This day doesn’t let anyone “younger” off the hook, but it is directed toward the older men among us. Remember, we’ll all fall into this category one day.
Isn’t it nice when there’s so little ambiguity in who a passage of Scripture is directed to and what it means? I must admit, I wish more Scripture was shaped like chapter 2 of Titus. In this chapter, Paul highlights several distinct groups of people to give specific directions/instructions to. The only thing that might be a little more helpful is if Paul gave the age cut-offs for each group.
“Old men,” and you know who you are, you’re up first.
Paul gives Titus some pretty robust instructions for what to teach your group. First up is temperance. This, on its surface, is exactly what it sounds like, not given to being drunk. But it goes deeper than that. This is freedom from any negative life-controlling influences. These can be substances or ideologies. Elsewhere, Paul says we can be slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness (Rom. 6:15-18).
Worthy of respect. Sometimes this term is translated as dignified. It is often used in connection with royalty. This adds to the idea of being free from controlling influences, by carrying the idea that we do not allow ourselves to be pulled into things that are not worthy of our attention (see Titus 3:9). We show ourselves worthy of respect by rising above things that are demeaning and futile.
Self-controlled. That is exactly what it sounds like. This is the culmination of the previous two. This is the idea of deliberateness. Everything engaged in is carefully thought out and purposeful. There is no frivolity or carelessness.
Finally, three areas are denoted for soundness (remember from yesterday, that means healthy and promoting growth). Faith, love, and endurance. This list might ring a familiar bell with 1 Corinthians 13. Faith, hope, and love are the three attributes that “remain.” Faith and love are repeated here in Titus, but endurance replaces hope, although they carry a similar meaning. Healthy in what we believe, how we act (pursuing the good), and in waiting patiently for God’s will to be accomplished and his kingdom to come.
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the blessing of your instruction and direction. Thank you that you have not left us on our own to figure out how to act and respond. Help me today to embrace the calling that you have given me as a man who is following you.
Reflection: Of the categories in today’s reading, which is “easiest” for you, and which is the most difficult. How can you ask the Spirit to help and lead you in these areas.
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