Theme of the Week: Titus
Bible Verse: Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. Titus 1:7-8
Scripture Reading: Titus 1:5-9
Necessary qualifications are always an interesting read in job postings. Usually, a combination of hard (familiarity with certain programs) and soft skills (good communication skills and ability to work in a team), this part of a job description acts as a first filter for applicants. In our honest evaluation of our skills and training, we can decide whether we are a good fit for the job. It’s tempting to do some wishful thinking in situations like this, or some experience equivocation, what I do is pretty much the same thing …
While we can certainly learn some skills, and there are always ways to grow and improve, the baseline sets a standard for success in the position.
The apostle Paul was trying to help Titus fill some holes in the workforce too. Titus had been left on the island of Crete to continue the church that Paul had started. One of his tasks was to find elders, overseers for the church to help with the preaching, teaching, and general functioning. So, to help further, Paul sends Titus a list of job qualifications for the position (see all of today’s reading).
What is always interesting about these lists (see also 1 Tim. 3:1-7 (8-13 lays out further qualifications for deacons), and 1 Peter 5:1-4), is that none of the characteristics listed ever seem to be unique to that position. In other words, all of the qualities that Paul encourages Titus (and Timothy) to look for in an elder are character traits that all followers of Jesus are to pursue!
But there is one quality that stands out. In verse 8, Paul says that an overseer should be a lover of what is good. Philagathos, a combination of philos and agathos, meaning personal affection for what is intrinsically good, a lover of what God loves (Strongs Concordance, 5358). It seems like this is an umbrella term, a catch-all that encompasses all of the other qualities.
This week we are going to look at what it means to love the good. To love and do the things that God loves.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you have so graciously given us wisdom and insight for life. Thank you that you love what is good and call us to do the same, in word, thought, and deed. Help me to recognize what is good as I look at the people and world around me.
Reflection: Make a list of the good things in you encounter today and ask God to help you love the people, places, and activities involved.
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