The book of Titus…its a short book in the Bible, only 3 chapters, but it has so much wisdom, it could be preached for well over a year of sermons. This week, I have been reading it daily, over and over and have really enjoyed the wisdom it brings. When I say enjoy, I mean challenged:)
Paul starts writing the book writing to his spiritual son(verse 4) Titus. The first words that start off the book are “Paul, a servant of God.” I could write a lot about this…a servant of God. How many times, do we ask “what do you do for a living?” Many times, you will hear “I’m the leader of this, or I’m the manager of that.” Let me ask you, do people know that you are a servant of God without you telling them?
Paul is describing some qualifications on elders and overseers. While I think he is speaking directly to the men, [husband of one wife” and using the pronoun “he,] I still read it and think, I know that God can talk to me in these verses too.
“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”–Titus 1:6-10
I firmly believe that an “overseer” can be any leader, ministry related or not. Just because you aren’t a preacher or Bible study leader doesn’t mean that you are not doing ministry. It’s important to have leaders who can effectively preach God’s Word, but its even MORE important to have those who can live out God’s Word and be examples for other to follow.
While all the qualities are so important, some that stuck out to me are these:
In verse 7, Paul says he must be “blameless“, as Christians we should be blameless. Yes, we may fall short, but we ask God for forgiveness and those that we have sinned against and we move on. Now, I am speaking about “overseers” but like I said for anyone leading ministry, this is for us! Any kind of leadership…”not overbearing, not quick-tempered (uh-oh, is this relating to anyone of us?), not given to drunkenness, not violent (we can beat up people more with our words).
RATHER, he must be hospitable, (are you friendly and welcoming, especially to new people), one who loves what is good, (do you like drama or do you walk away and have no part because you love what is good?)
self-controlled, (think before your speak/act) Psalm 39:1 says, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin.” Can I get an AMEN on that one?
Are you an upright person? Are you honest with people? When people talk to you, do they believe what you say?
How about disciplined? When I think of disciplined, I think of training…getting prepared for something. Are we disciplined in our relationship with the Lord…do we read His Word every day? Do we pray everyday, throughout the day? Do we listen to godly music or messages that will fill our soul with spiritual nourishment? My husband and I talk about this sometimes, just because it’s not bad doesn’t mean it’s good.
Verse 9, says “he must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Do we even know what we believe? We must know sound doctrine, so that when the culture changes, we don’t change with it. We hold fast to our beliefs. We must have an opinion and that opinion must line up to the Word of God. Not even bringing politics into it because both sides have their issues. We must be able to stand up for what we believe in, even if we are solo. And even when people don’t like or agree with us. I pray people won’t say about me: “oh she’s republican” or “she’s a democrat”, no I pray they say “she’s a Christian!” I want to be be known as part of the Kingdom Party!
Later on in the book, Titus 2:15, the Amplified Version says it like this, “Tell [them all] these things. Urge (advise, encourage, warn) and rebuke with full authority. Let no one despise or disregard or think little of you [conduct yourself and your teaching so as to command respect].” Paul told Titus to teach the Bible as well as to live the Word out. We must also teach, encourage, and correct when necessary. If God is telling you to say something, be bold and say it. I love the way it says “urge,” advice, encourage, warn…don’t just tell people they are wrong, advice them on what God says, encourage them, and most important love them. Love them enough to be truthful, but always putting God first.
Throughout the book, Paul encourages Titus, “to love what is good,” “do what is good” and lead by example.
My pastor has encouraged us to “Go Public.” We must go public in these area of our lives. People will come to know Jesus by how we love people. As we go throughout the days, I am reminded that we need to pray about all situations, the encounters we face, and the people in our path. We have to love people, but most of all love God first. So that your light will shine before all men. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”–Matthew 5:16
When we allow God to work in us as “overseers,” people will see that and glorify God. That is truly what we are here for, the praise and worship of our God.