Monday: Walk the Talk! – Titus 2:1-15 & 1 Thessalonians 2:10-13
This chapter deals with the Christian character – how those who claim to be followers of Jesus should behave. This is a week of introspection! Paul starts with a theme which is important throughout the letter – faith and doctrine are only ‘sound’ if they manifest in appropriate Christian conduct. Paul encourages Titus to teach his congregation both elements. Notice that he separates people by gender and age. In that way, he is able to give specific, rather than general, instructions. Most importantly, be aware of why Paul is so insistent on blameless behaviour – it stands as a living portrayal of Jesus.
Tuesday: Mature with Age – Titus 2:3 & 1 Timothy 5:1-8
Paul points to 3 things an older man should avoid – overindulgence, thoughtlessness and ill-discipline. Age should have brought with it a sense of responsibility and maturity. In addition, it should have encouraged and strengthened positive aspects of behaviour. Faith – experience should enable an older man to trust God more. Love – he should be more tolerant of the faults of others knowing he himself as made many of the same. Endurance –greater life-skills should enable him to better cope with problems.
Wednesday; Grannies – Titus 2:2 & Isaiah 46:4 & Psalm 92:12-15
One of the downsides of modern social mobility is the loss of the 3-generation household. Grandmothers who, by virtue of the years they’ve lived, have inevitably grown in serenity, sympathy and understanding. As such they have, in the past, had a strong role to play in the family. Paul recognises the same qualities are needed in the church to counsel and mentor young families. In addition, as with the older men, they should conduct themselves in a manner worthy of someone ‘Older and wiser!’
Thursday: Young Ladies! – Titus 2:4-5 & Ephesians 6:1-4
It is important that Paul’s words are taken in the context of the social customs of the time. To a very large degree, women were excluded from employment and largely left out of any social activity involving men other than their husband. This accounts for the somewhat misogynistic attitude. To have encouraged any behaviour outside of the cultural norm could have brought condemnation on the church for ‘corrupting’ women. Notice the reason Paul gives for adhering to these rules – so ‘no one [can] malign the word of God.’
Friday: Young Men! – Titus 2:6-8 & 1 Tim 4:8-16
Paul was young once – so he knows the trouble that can be caused by the passions and recklessness of youth. Notice also that Paul is implicitly recognising Titus’ own youth. As a young man himself, it is imperative for Titus to provide a good example for others to follow. Again, Paul points to the impression that bad behaviour gives to others. Outsiders are keen to find fault in Christians wherever and whenever they can. Sensible and prudent behaviour thwarts the possibility.
Saturday: Workers! – Titus 1:8-9 & Eph 6:5-9
Substitute ‘employee’ for ‘slave’. A Christian’s beliefs should teach him how to serve; to be obedient and efficient. The Christian workman can never put less than his best into any task. He is respectful. He does not think that his Christianity gives him a special right to ignore authority. He is honest and faithful and loyal. In following these principles, he is able to demonstrate to his employer and fellow-workers the true meaning of his faith.
“The measure of love
is to love without measure.”