TITUS 2:1-15 (NIV – UK)
Doing good for the sake of the gospel
1 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
All Christians are called to be walking displays of the goodness of God. When we receive Jesus into our lives, his goodness should shine from us as we go about living our every day lives. And Paul picks up on some very good reasons as to why this is important: ‘so that no one will malign the word of God’ (v. 5), ‘so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us’ (v. 8), and ‘so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive’ (v. 10).
This is relevant to every Christian, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in. See Paul even extends this responsibility to followers of Jesus who are in slavery (v. 9). Even in those terrible circumstances of slavery, the Christian slave has an opportunity to be a living display of the goodness of God ‘so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive’ (v. 10). Even the life of the slave can be evangelistic – perhaps even to their master – displaying the goodness of God and proclaiming salvation in Jesus.
Allowing the goodness of God to be displayed in our lives is not an optional extra, but is central to life with Jesus. Whether we work in an office, are a stay at home mum, unemployed of even in Christian ministry, we all have the opportunity to display God’s goodness in our particular context. This is something we can pray for day-by-day – that the love and goodness of God will emanate from us that day – and that through that many people might enquire about the goodness of our God.
Question: What is your particular context day-to-day? How can you be a walking display of the goodness of God?