Dishonoring or Adorning, It’s Your Choice
Pastor Steve Ellison
The book of Titus is about leadership and it’s about education. It also gives some insight into the importance of the family. Titus 2 points out the importance of our behavior to how the gospel message is received. It is likely that we Christians will have to bear some of the blame for unbelievers rejecting the gospel message. In the midst of the discipleship instructions given in Titus 2, this passage states in two places that the world’s perception of God’s message is tied to our actions. The first is given in negative terms; the second in positive terms.
Titus 2:3-10 says, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. 9 Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.” NASU
While giving detailed instructions about proper behavior, the Scripture also gives marvelous motivation for being very careful to observe those standards of behavior. It is a sobering thought to realize that my misbehavior causes the word of God to be dishonored. My misbehavior causes unbelievers to have a bias against the word of God, to be predisposed to disbelieve the gospel message. The Scripture says that I should take great care in behaving properly so that I will make the doctrine of God more appealing to the unbelievers. There is a lost and dying world all around me that needs reasons to trust God not reasons to distrust Him. Titus 2 commands me to behave in such a way God’s message appears more attractive. Certainly my behavior does not change the actual beauty of the gospel or increase its intrinsic value in any way. However, my actions ought to adorn the good news about forgiveness of sin.
Practically speaking, Titus 2 reminds me that when I submit to authority, deal with integrity, am above reproach in my speech, etc. then I am adorning the doctrine of God, making people more likely to trust God’s message. On the other hand, when I rebel against authority, deal dishonestly with people, gossip, etc. then I am dishonoring the word of God, making unbelievers less likely to trust God’s message. So, Christian, next time you are considering listening to a little gossip, or going on a tirade against a waitress, or cutting a few corners in a business deal, or getting a little drunk, or engaging in sexual sin, etc. please stop and consider the effect that your actions will have. God takes His Word very, very seriously. Because He does, we should too. I do not look forward to standing one day before a holy, holy, holy God and explaining the list of times that I caused the Word of God to be dishonored. I am trying not to add any more spots to the already lengthy list beside my name. ....…..firstname.lastname@example.org