Friday, 15 June 2018
…not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. Titus 2:10
Paul continues to explain to Titus how he should exhort bondservants. He continues his list of admonitions for them with, “not pilfering.” The word used is rare, having only been seen elsewhere in Acts 5:2 and 5:3 where Ananias “kept back” a part of his property which he had devoted to the church. The idea of the word is to appropriate for one’s own benefit, and thus to purloin. A slave, regardless of his status, was to deal with his master, and the others he came in contact with, in integrity. He was to accept his station as one which did not include a wage, and he was to live within those confines.
Paul continues next with, “but showing all good fidelity.” This is a contrast to “not pilfering.” Bondservants who are also Christians are to demonstrate the highest trust, so that there would be no question of their faithfulness. There is already such an example for believers, right in the first book of the Bible. Of Joseph, it said –
“So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. 5 So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. 6 Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.” Genesis 39:4-6
If anyone had a reason to complain about his unfortunate station in life, it was Joseph, and yet he was a faithful slave to his master, showing all good fidelity. This continued on in his life, even when he was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit –
“And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.” Genesis 29:22, 23
Paul then explains why he has so commanded this life for bondservants. It is so “that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” As a crown adorns the head so that all can see it and be impressed by it, so bondservants were to adorn themselves with honesty and integrity so that others could look at them and see the epitome of faithfulness, despite their lowly state. In this, they would bring honor to the name of Jesus, and also bring attention to the Gospel to which they had become obedient. If obedience to the Gospel meant such a life of character, it would be a true sign of its power.
Life application: Are you in a position of working for another? Even if you work in isolation from others, the quality and timeliness of your efforts will be noticeable. How much more when you are constantly seen by others! No matter what your job duties call for, do them to the very best of your abilities, not for the sake of being seen by men, but because they will be seen by men who will then evaluate your efforts in light of your profession of Jesus Christ as your Lord. When you proclaim Christ, it is Jesus who is truly being evaluated by others when they watch you.
Heavenly Father, as we go off to work, or to the other things we will do today, help us to remember that we are being used as markers to evaluate the Lord we profess. If we are known by the sacred title of “Christian,” then what others see in our life, work quality, timeliness, and conduct will be an evaluation of our allegiance to Him as much as anything else. And so may we perform our daily duties with the utmost faithfulness and care. To Your glory we pray. Amen.