I mentioned yesterday that Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus were not like his other letters, mainly because they were to individuals instead of a church family. But they are also different because they are to two church leaders whom Paul had left behind to complete the work that he began. In baseball circles, I guess you could consider these two guys Paul’s closers. We find in these letters then, not just the encouragement of a mentor to a mentee, but also some instructions with how to deal with different situations that arise within the Christian family and instructions on how to handle different kinds of people in the church.
This is especially true of the letter to Titus. Really, Paul spends the bulk of the letter telling Titus how to handle people and how to keep people pointed in the right direction.
If you will notice, there really aren’t any kinds of people that Paul leaves out of this letter. We have old men and young men. Old women and young women. Free people and slaves. Paul even touches briefly on the laziness of some people and how that is not glorifying to God.
I guess what stood out to me in the midst of all of that is that none of us are exempt from correction and further instruction…which means that we had better be open to the probability that there is something new for us to learn. Voltaire wrote: “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” Is that a self-deprecating statement? No, it is a person realizing that there is always something to learn, always something to grow in or into.
I have noticed that the characteristic of “teachability” has become more and more valued as of late. It shows up in performance reviews, it is a question asked of references during the hiring process, it even shows up as a characteristic in some personality profiles.
The sad reality is that most of us loose that teachable-ness to some degree as we get older. We get set in our ways, we start to think we have the answers instead of seeking out the answers. We stop asking questions. We get angry when someone tries to show us something new/improved/better than what we already know.
But Paul encourages Titus to be pretty lofty in his expectations of these folks under his care, and that would require them to be malleable and willing to be corrected and learn.
How willing are you to learn?
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Peter