Paul told Titus we need to be reminded.
We believers seem to have such short memories. So God reminds us about the same things again and again. I’ve written a couple blog posts on this subject in the past, but God freshly reminded me recently in my devotional reading. So I’m passing it along to you.
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:1-2
First God reminds us to be submissive to rulers and authorities. This means we are to obey our leaders unless they command us to disobey God or violate our conscience. Hey, I don’t like all the taxes I have to pay. I don’t like all the regulations I must submit to. But God doesn’t tell me to like the President. He tells me to submit to him. I don’t have to agree with our leaders but I must be submissive and obedient to them unless they require me to disobey God.
The second reminder is that we are to “speak evil of no one.” Did you catch that? No one. Not even our enemies. To call the President an idiot is to speak evil of him. To refer to our leaders as clowns or morons is to speak evil of them. Again this doesn’t mean we have to agree with them but we have to be very careful in the way we talk about them. We can’t judge their motives or know their hearts. Only God can judge another person’s heart. We can express our opinion that a certain policy is a terrible policy but we must speak evil of no person.
God’s third reminder for us is “to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Calling anyone an idiot or jerk is not showing perfect courtesy toward them. God doesn’t tell us to show some courtesy but to show PERFECT courtesy toward ALL people, even those we strongly disagree with. Perfect courtesy toward your difficult boss when you’re with coworkers in the break room and he’s not there. Perfect courtesy toward those who insult you and are unkind to you.
We must be different than the world.
We must display to all the difference Jesus makes in our lives. We must act like Jesus in every situation. When he was asked about paying taxes to Caesar he didn’t say, “Oh that idiot!” Jesus did not insult Herod or Pilate when he was brought before them in his last hours.
Be submissive to rulers, speak evil of no one, show perfect courtesy to everyone. For the glory of God.
We need grace, don’t we?