Tucked away in the last chapter of a letter to a young pastor named Titus is a great list of things I think all of us need to be reminded of. These are things we should always be doing anyway, but in these final days before voting in the 2020 election begins, they seem to take on particular importance. Especially in light of the behavior I have been witnessing from some Christ followers, especially on social media. Remember, the world is watching and taking note, so we ought to take a moment to pause and pray about our attitude and behavior regarding what we post and share.
Here is the list taken from Paul’s letter to Titus.
Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.Titus 3:1-2
1. Submit to the government and its officers.
This seems pretty straight forward. Submit. Obviously, there are limitations on how far this submission should go. That is a lengthy discussion for another time. What I think is being said here is submit if it doesn’t go against God’s higher law.
2. Be Obedient
“Be obedient” piggy-backs off submission to government, but it doesn’t stop there. There are many areas where obedience is expected, be obedient in them all. Chiefly our obedience is to God’s word, but we are to be obedient to what God has allowed to be in authority as well.
Obviously, there come times when civil disobedience is necessary. However, when this route is chosen there will likely be consequences to which you will be asked to submit.
3. Always be ready to do what is good
Paul could have as easily written “do good.” Being ready to do something indicates a default position. The default of all your actions should be to do good. Do the right thing. Behave in a manner that mirrors what Jesus would do, not what your emotions tell you.
4. Do not slander anyone
Slander is a lie. A false spoken statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation. You and I both know slander is an out of control wildfire right now. This is another subject that really deserves a post of its own.
If the post or meme you want to share lies about someone don’t post it. Don’t share it.
Posting or sharing a lie on social media is the same as saying it. It is gossip of the worst kind. It is never Christ-like, and it is never okay for the Christian. Even if it is a joke.
In the schoolyard we call it bullying. Don’t be an online bully. For that matter, don’t be any kind of bully.
Do not slander ANYONE. Anyone includes… well, anyone and everyone.
5. Avoid quarreling
In my mind quarreling is a step or two above arguing. Arguing is closer to debating. Quarreling is mud wrestling. The principle here is the same though.
Discuss politics, candidates, issues, religion, and anything else all you want. But keep the discussions civil. Sure, you can disagree, but once it heads toward the mud pit, stop.
6. Be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
The final item on this list is the solution to the rest.
Be gentle. Be truly humble.
Sound like anyone you know? Be like Christ, not like yourself, and certainly not like the world.
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