Archive for February 2014

Titus 1:12-13

 

One of the least enjoyed parts of being a manager in my place of occupation is the discipline system. When someone breaks a rule, or more often, simply does not live up to expectations, they have to be “written up.” The employee’s shortcoming is explained, the standard is reiterated, and expectation of change is put forward. Managers do not tend to enjoy these proceedings.Read more ...

Published on February 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm |

Titus 1:10-11

“Sometimes, you have to pick corn on someone else’s Sabbath” was not the advice I expected when I asked my professor for some advice. I was a first year seminary student trying to decide how best to address a particular issue about which I felt discomfort. My professor encouraged me to remember that while it is not good for believers to be combative or constantly spoiling for a fight (and sadly some are), there is a continuous thread through the New Testament calling for believers to contend for the faith.Read more ...

Published on February 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

Titus 1:9

At a recent training class I attended, my group (35 people) played a game. We were divided into 7 table groups and given instructions to a card game. We were to play one hand and then the loser must get up, leave the table, and move clockwise to the next table. Also, there was to be no talking.Read more ...

Published on February 18, 2014 at 9:54 am |

Titus 1:8 (part 3)

One of my favorite teachers ever was a woman named Mrs. Keaton. At one point in her life she decided that she needed to lose weight, so she cut out all sweets. Now this was quite a sacrifice for her because she loved sweets; the funny thing about this was that if you had a donut, a cupcake, or a piece of cake, she would often come up to you and ask if she could smell it. She said that just smelling it was enough--she didn't need to taste it. She knew that not eating sweets was what she needed to do to be as healthy as she could be.

Now, I recently decided to give up sweets to lose a few pounds. This mainly meant giving up sodas and sweet tea (tragedy), but it also meant cake, pie, candy, etc. I have tried several times to smell something and then walk away--it is not "enough" for me. In fact, the times I have not instantly failed, I have walked away very angry. That doesn't work for me. I just need to stay far away from sweet temptation.

I have lost quite a bit of weight, but it wasn't on the Mrs. Keaton plan. I had to figure out my own way. This passage says that a mature Christian, a leader, should be self-controlled. This does not by any means only or even mainly concern your diet (though I would argue that is part of it), but this touches every aspect of your life. You should by God's grace and through His Spirit  have a firm grasp on your desires. This includes your desire for food, drink, sex, notoriety, wealth, power, influence...fill in your own blanks.

How you achieve that control may vary--know yourself and your weaknesses, but get yourself under control or do not presume that you are qualified to lead God's people. Harsh? Maybe, but that is God's standard.

Be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

Published on February 5, 2014 at 11:25 am |

Titus 1:8 (part 2)

There are certain people who hate everything. Everything is lame or stupid, (or if they actually like it) "not terrible." What a miserable way to live (for themselves and everyone around them)!

God made our world amazing! Are there problems? Of course, but God has given us so many things to enjoy. This passage says that a leader in the church should be a lover of good things. Look for good things, point out beauty to others, bask in the wonderful things around you.

If you will enjoy the awesome things around you as a new pattern of life, others in your sphere will follow suit. Be a lover of good things. Enjoy the fine things in your life. God put them there for you. Don't be a curmudgeonly downer. You miss your calling and drag those around you down as well.

Be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

 

Published on February 4, 2014 at 1:10 am |

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