Strive to be gentle!
We must control the way we think, speak, and act.
…to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
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Strive to be gentle!
The little epistle to Titus gives us some great insight into how Christians should relate to other Christians and to those outside the faith. Today’s reading begins by telling Christians to submit to the government and its officers. Most governments do not have God and His Word as the foundation for their governing. And because of this poor foundation most governments are involved in things that God disapproves of and that Christians are forced to live with. As a Christ-follower, I have a problem with a government that thinks it is okay to abort a child. It sickens me even to think about some of the things that our government is considering even now. But according to Paul, I am to submit to that government.
That is the context that today’s verse was written from, but I believe it crosses over into all areas of our lives. Just because our government is doing some things that I believe are storing up God’s anger and wrath for a future date, does not give me permission to speak evil of anyone in that government. In fact, according to this verse, we should not be speaking evil of anyone. I wonder how many times each day we break this command. And understand that I include myself in the ‘we’ part of that last statement.
Paul goes on to say that we also must avoid quarreling. Husbands and wives ought to pay special attention to this. Quarreling is sin! And gentlemen, if you are allowing quarreling to persist in your marriage, then you are giving Satan a free pass to do whatever he wants in your family. It is possible to disagree without quarreling. If you don’t know how, get counsel and learn how.
Paul then goes on to tell us what we should be doing rather than speaking evil and quarreling; and he begins by saying we should be gentle. Jesus was almost always gentle. There were a few times when His holy anger would rise up and it always had to do with self-righteous people who were leading God’s people away from a true worship of God. There is no other time that Jesus was not gentle. Gentleness is not weakness; it takes incredible strength to be gentle. If you want a picture of gentleness in action, look at Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion. At any moment Jesus could have called down legions of angels to defend Him, but He did not.
Paul concludes this verse by telling us to show true humility to everyone. Humility is thinking and acting as though others are better than you are. This is a real problem for most people. They simply don’t believe that there are who many people that are better than they are, and it shows in the way they relate to others. True humility begins in your mind. As we grow in our knowledge of Christ and what He has done for us and what the Holy Spirit is doing, we find less and less to feel proud of in our lives. To be a godly man or woman we must exercise self-control. We must control the way we think, speak, and act. And to do that we must surrender more of our lives to Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work He desires to do in us. Jesus, help us to let You fix us.