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 towards everyone.
Read: Titus 3
Consider: Over a number of years I’ve noticed some people taking part in what are called ‘Random Acts of Kindness’. This has had a significant effect on the individuals who are the recipients of the kindness, as well as there being a positive effect on the giver. Unexpected kindness may also have a positive effect on those with whom the news of the gift is shared.
Paul in his letter to Titus reminds his readers how they should live. In chapter 2 Paul mentions teaching, training and encouraging all age groups in the church. In chapter 3:1 Paul raises a topic that is also a central part of the Christian life: obedience. Obedience is not a topic that people then would have wanted to hear about; it is no different in our time. Even worse Paul tells his readers to be subject to rulers and authorities! A great message for our time where many think their right to protest against political leaders and those in authority is somehow not included in this. Let’s be honest here, our salvation is not dependent upon our political affiliation (e.g. Conservative:Labour in the UK, or Democrat:Republican in the USA). Paul reminds us that as Christians our attitudes and actions should be noticeably different from how the world reacts.
Ask yourself what Paul’s choice of the words ‘peaceable’, ‘considerate’, ‘be gentle towards everyone’ mean for you in your life. Don’t make excuses for any bad behaviour and ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit so that you might become more Christlike.
Read again Titus 3:3 where Paul spells out the attitudes we used to have before committing our lives to Christ and compare these to what he says in verses 1-2. The contrast in the Christian life from our former life should be very marked. Paul explains how this change has come about in verses 4-6 in this way:
But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour
The challenge for us today is to take God’s Word seriously and to be obedient to it.
Pray: Father, forgive us for reading passages like Titus 3 and immediately forgetting the encouragement there is in your Word to do good, to be peaceable, considerate and gentle. Help us to be obedient to you and also to be obedient to those who rule and are in authority. Amen