I have read and listened to Paul’s letter to Titus a few times the last couple days, and here are some main points I heard:
Be careful how you lead others.
- Titus gives guidelines on who is qualified to be an elder at church, and the qualifications are very strong. Too bad we cannot apply these same guidelines to our elected officials.
- Practice discipleship. Paul calls Titus his son in the faith, and he has a similar relationship with Timothy as well. Paul is way more than just a Sunday School teacher to these young disciples, but he has an extremely close bond with them.
Be careful how you follow others.
- Be obedient to your leaders and authorities.
- Show that you can be trusted.
- Do not follow those who are divisive, but put them out of your life if they do not repent.
- Do not follow false teachers.
Be careful what you teach others.
- Teach sound doctrine.
- Teach what is good.
- Once again, practice discipleship. Older men teach younger men. Older women teach younger women.
- Teach with integrity.
Be careful how you treat others.
- Avoid quarrels and controversies.
- Be devoted to what is good.
- Provide for those with urgent needs.
- Provide for those working for the Gospel (missionaries).
Another random thought I had from Titus…
In this letter Paul talks about how awful the Cretans were…
One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:12)
Paul says these words were true at the time, and I do not know much about the morality and work ethics of today’s Cretans. However, it did remind me of an amazing story that took place on the Greek island of Crete during World War II. For the full story read Christopher McDougall’s book Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance, but the book paints the 20th century Cretans as a people who have incredible endurance. They could literally live off the land, eating seeds and weeds, and run/hike/mountain climb for days at a time with little rest if necessary. Because of these rare abilities the continuously bested the Germans while the Nazis were overpowering the rest of Europe. The book details how a ragtag group of British outcasts worked with Cretans to kidnap a Nazi general and sneak him past enemy lines. It is a pretty incredible story, so read the book sometime.