Consider Yourself Reminded
Pastor Steve Ellison
Much of Paul’s letter to Titus is about being and doing good. It is also about teaching others to do good and to be good as well. In verse one of chapter three, Paul told Titus to “remind them”. It is a fact that much of what teachers in every field do when they teach is to “remind”. Humans are forgetful people. A public school teacher I know regularly admonishes her students not to be “Forgetful Freds”. As we get older, we notice our forgetfulness more and more. Maybe we forget more things, but I think the main thing is that we simply notice it more and it disturbs us more. The point is: all people forget (a lot) and have a great need to be reminded. Christians are no different; we need to be reminded.
Titus 3:1-2 says, “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.” NASU You and I don’t really like it, but a consistent teaching found in several places in the Bible commands us to be subject to rulers and authorities. We are commanded to obey them. We are also commanded to be ready for every good deed. A committed follower of Christ will not have to be coaxed, urged, or persuaded to be ready for every good deed. Rather, this Christian will count it as a privilege. Verse two tells us that we are to be very careful with our tongues. The NASU says to “malign no one”. The NIV says to “slander no one”. The KJV says to “speak evil of no one”. Oh, how our homes, our churches, our towns, our nation would change if we could just follow that one simple command. We must take care not to injure other people with our words. We must be careful to resist the urge to exaggerate circumstances that make others appear in a negative light. Philippians 4:8 gives good advice here, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” NASU
Paul went on to say that as Christians we ought to remind each other to be peaceful, gentle, and considerate. We are to avoid quarrelling and fighting but that is only the beginning. In the words of Christ, we should be peacemakers (Matthew 5). That is far more than not being a peace breaker. We are called to make peace. We ought to show humility and true courtesy. Aggressive behavior is not a Christian trait. Insisting on my rights is not a Christian trait. As Christians we are commanded to be gentle in our dealings with other people. The fact that we are called to malign “no one” and to be considerate to “everyone” emphasizes that our responsibility is not to other Christians only, but rather toward all people. Our treatment of people who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will sometimes determine their response to the gospel. If we are peaceful, gentle, and considerate the chances are that their response will be peaceful, gentle, and considerate. That is all that we can ask for; that the unbeliever will peacefully and gently consider the claims of Christ.
I doubt if this article has provided any new information. Perhaps it has reminded you of some things you already knew. More importantly, maybe it has encouraged you to obey what you already knew to do. If a Christian is maturing, there should be growth in this area. ……....firstname.lastname@example.org