Titus 3:1-2 says
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”
We are going to focus today on verse 2: “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”
I have found lately that my children seem to look for reasons to fight and bicker. They will be happily playing one minute and a shrieking match will ensue the next. This verse in Titus helps us see some basic ways we can each work to restore peace in our environment.
Slander is the spoken word used against someone, in an attempt to malign them and their character. Most of us would like to say we don’t do that. But do we? I know I am guilty as charged. I’ve been known to feel the need to be sure that others know what he did or she said, you know, just the facts. But again the bible shows us that our words are important and under our control. It is not up to us to be sure others know what wrong someone has committed.
Then I look at the next phrase “to be peaceful and considerate”. That statement brings to my mind a pictures of a sweet, serene, lovely lady. I’ve known some of these. I’m willing to bet you have, too. Are we born naturally that way? Do we have control over behaving in a peaceful, considerate manner? Clearly we do, as God commands it of us. He wouldn’t tell us to be peaceful if it was something that only the naturally born peaceful people could achieve. We must actively decide to behave peacefully, not trying to “stir up anger” as yesterday’s verse suggested.
“Be gentle toward everyone.” Did that say just those you like? Just those who are gentle toward you? Just those who can help your career? Your ministry? No. Everyone. This includes your siblings, your spouse and *gulp* your children. Everyone.
The more I look into bible verses that encourage and help us develop our character, the more I see it as an active work. Despite our natural inclination, we must work to achieve the character we admire. Those gentle, serene ladies are not that way by birth or inclination, but by years of cultivation. Let me cultivate that gentleness in myself and lead my children to do the same.
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