Scripture: Titus 2:1-14 (NIV)
1 You must teach what is in accord with 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 train 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 Savior attractive. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 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 glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, 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.
A couple of words draw my attention, self-controlled and respect. Self-controlled is used four times in Titus 2, more than any other book of the New Testament – although you will find it throughout the New Testament. This says to me that self-control is very important if we are going to show the example to this world that Christ wants.
We will always be given an opportunity by the evil one to leave self-control for self-satisfaction, revenge, etc. I see here it is of the utmost importance for Christians, especially leaders, to be self-controlled. We can no longer give in to our frustrations, fleshly desires, temptations, or anything else if we are going to be the Church that still shows forth the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I could go on and on about self-control but the fact still remains it is something each of us must do – BE SELF-CONTROLLED! I know there are those that feel that the Holy Spirit controls their every action; however, the fact is we are responsible for keeping control of ourselves.
Respect means that you have due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.
It also can mean you have a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something that stems from their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Respect is more than a word here. It is a way of life. We must be worthy of respect, as well, as give respect. I have heard that respect is earned, but I believe we should show respect to all.
Being self-controlled is not an event driven process. It is a way of life, from morning to evening until Jesus comes.
We should respect the Word of God by following and obeying the truths we find there.
Thank you, Father, for your care for us. Help me to continue to live my life by doing your will. Help me to live in the self-control you provide for me by freeing me from the authority of the evil one. Help me to show respect to others and to your Word and Life. Help me, Lord, to live as an example of your love and grace.