Over the past five days, I’ve read the book of Titus several times and I found myself returning to the first 7 verses of chapter 3. Paul writes this letter, “To Titus, my true child in common faith,” (Titus 1:4) and gives practical words of instruction for Titus’ ministry on the island of Crete. However, I believe these verses are very applicable and relevant for us today.
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” ~Titus 3:1-3
Pastor Titus is to remind the people to show respect for their government and to be law-abiding citizens. God isn’t surprised by election results. A number of people have chosen to protest over the past week because they aren’t happy with the election results. In America, we have the right to practice freedom of speech. But when we are unhappy or we disagree, this does not give us the right to break the law, destroy others’ property, and injure innocent people. Our response should be to pray regularly and fervently for those men and women who govern over us.
Look for opportunities to lend a helping hand. Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful times to reach out and offer help, encouragement, or a kind deed to others. Do you have a neighbor who could use some help with yard chores? Make some chili and cornbread, and invite some people to your house for an evening of fellowship and games. Ask God to show you a person, couple, or family who could use some encouragement and love.
Don’t quarrel or speak insulting words to others but rather we should show kindness and be courteous and respectful toward everyone. My mind quickly goes to the infamous “Christmas Rush.” Kindness, courtesy, and respect seem to disappear as people hurry from one store to the next party. Drivers are impatient and honk their horns. Could we just take a deep breath, stand in line at the store, and have a pleasant attitude? Share a kind word and pass along a genuine smile.
Why should we practice these types of good works? God has extended goodness, loving kindness, mercy, and grace to us. Through Jesus Christ, we are justified, we are heirs, and we are recipients of eternal life.
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” ~Titus 3:4-7
The work of the Holy Spirit has washed and renewed us. We have received an abundant amount of God’s goodness and loving kindness. Let’s demonstrate God’s rich grace through good works extended to other people.