Friday, 22 June 2018
…to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. Titus 3:2
Paul’s words here continue the previous verse. They are words to Titus concerning instruction that he is to give to all in the congregation. He had just instructed him to tell “them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.” He now adds to that with, “to speak evil of no one.”
The Greek reads, “to not blaspheme anyone.” As he has just been speaking of rulers, the idea probably is meant towards them first. It is very easy to speak evil of rulers and authorities. For the Christian, this should not be the case. However, Paul extends it to all. Not only are we to be subject to the ruling authorities, giving them respect, we are to act in that manner with everyone we encounter. We are not to speak ill of them, slander them, or defame them. Our words should be words of edification, not destruction, towards and about others.
Paul then notes that believers are “to be peaceable.” The word is actually a negative, “not contentious.” It signifies one who abstains from fighting. Instead of arguing or beating others up, we are to use words of encouragement and give a hand of support.
Next, he notes, “gentle.” The word gives the sense of acting in a fair and reasonable manner. HELPS Word Studies says that it signifies “‘gentle’ in the sense of truly fair by relaxing overly strict standards in order to keep the ‘spirit of the law.’” In that case, it would indicate not acting in a legalistic, over-bearing way.
The verse then ends with, “showing all humility to all men.” The previous word, gentle, is an outward way of acting. This one, humility, is an inner trait. This word signifies a mild, meek, and humble demeanor. Paul says that believers are to have this quality, and then they are to display it towards all men. There is to be a gracious nature to our character as we interact with our fellow believers, remembering that we are in the presence of God and thus our humility is as much an acknowledgment of Him as it is towards those we encounter.
Life application: As we look at our fellow believers, we might see the traits Paul has been stating either being put into action, or they might be completely lacking. If we can notice these things in others, then we obviously can apply them to ourselves. Hold fast to what is good, reject that which is contrary to the word, and demonstrate the qualities that have been described to the best of your ability at all times.
Lord God; Almighty Father – You have given us words of how we are to act, and the character we are to display towards others. It is so easy to stray from those exhortations. We get upset at our leaders, we have disagreements with those we encounter, we get hungry or tired and our emotions get sour. Help us to realize our limitations, and to step back from speech or action which would be harmful to our witness of You before others lest we act in an inappropriate manner. Surely we need Your continuous prompting in this! Amen.