Verse of the Day Devotion: Titus 2:6
“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible.” – Titus 2:6
Paul is writing this letter directly to Titus, a gentile and disciple of his whom he led to Christ. He was called into the ministry and worked closely with Paul, accompanying him with Barnabas from Antioch to Jerusalem. Paul begins by telling Titus to speak and teach the truth. “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1. He was to instruct older men and women to be reverent in their behavior and not to be harsh in their speech nor enslaved to wine. They we to be sensible and kind so that the word of God would not be dishonored.
Then Paul instructs Titus about the younger men. “Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;” Titus 2:6. They are to be prudent in all things, taking control of their passions and desires. This was an important lesson because, as gentiles, this was not the norm with either younger males or females. And the idea was to show everyone how they could be an example of living life as they should. They were to display a life of good deeds and purity. He was to show them, via his own life, how they were to exhibit themselves. This was essential to show the reality of how Titus’ ways were good and should be followed. Paul goes on to say, “sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:8. Anything we say should be beyond reproach so that we will not be ashamed before those who we are training. Thus, they will have nothing bad to say about us. In so doing, they will have no reason to speak of any hypocrisy in us.
Now, I am going to make this inclusive to all. It is absolutely important that we, as Christians, teach sound doctrine to all we have the opportunity to instruct. However, it is as important that our lives also instruct them, through being an example of the ways of righteousness. We cannot say one thing and do another. It is the sensible thing to do, as Paul lays out in our focus verse. What we preach should be sound doctrine, that which the scriptures truly say, not what we want it to say. And in teaching, we should show how it is to be lived out. If we teach that our speech should be pure, then we should avoid speaking harshly or with filthy words and nasty meanings. I have heard people who preach in church or teach in bible classes, and yet tell dirty jokes or use sexually explicit connotations. This is essentially saying that these are acceptable as long as we are not preaching or teaching. What does this tell the students or disciples?
James in his letter says the following. “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25. James here is saying if we only listen to the word but do not live it out, we are simply deceiving ourselves. This is, of course a dangerous position to be in. However, it is worse if we only teach the word and do not live it out, for then we are possibly leading others astray. Note this warning. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42. And I can say with much certainty this would not be a good thing.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.