Word for Today – Titus 1:8-9

Be Hospitable . . . and then Some

There are good leaders and bad ones. Certainly we want to be good ones!

In the New Testament book of Titus, the Apostle Paul provides his disciple, Titus, with guidelines on how appoint  leaders for the churches strewn across the Mediterranean island of Crete:

“. . . he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:8-9 NRSV).

Although these are great guidelines for church leaders, lay-people benefit from heeding them as well. After all, every  Christian is a leader within their realm of influence such as their homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. The list comprising verse 8 is obtainable by every Christian. However, the guidelines spelled out in verse 9 are more daunting. All of us need to be able to share and defend sound doctrine to an extent, but there are many believers who have that gift and move into roles requiring those traits on a regular basis. They often end up the official leaders in our churches and ministries.

My oldest son is a good example of a lay-person exhibiting the qualities found in Titus. As a student in a public university, he doesn’t always encounter professors who share his foundational beliefs. He recently had such a teacher. He hated the class and, as a loquacious participant in classroom discussions, he sometimes felt dismissed by the instructor.

He and I often discussed his frustrations and came to the conclusion that he listen to every word taught then use them to solidify and help defend his own position on contentious matters. I also told him to be respectful when expressing and defending his opinions.

By end of the semester he had a final grade of 100+ percent and thanked his professor for not letting their differing opinions affect his grade. They parted on good terms because my son had displayed the very traits shared in Titus. He did not act with arrogance and refrained from being quick-tempered and violent. Not only that, but he remained hospitable and stayed true to the goodness of his beliefs. He displayed prudence, remained upright, and, as hard as it was at times, he exhibited self-controlled.

My son may not be a leader in the church, but by adhering to the solid guidelines in Titus, he exhibited good Christian leadership in his realm of influence and people noticed. On one occasion he was greeted by a wall of high-fives after a particularly lively class discussion.  He  had effectively, and with respect, supported his beliefs, which were shared by many of his classmates.

Word for Today: Whether you are an official Christian leader or not, be hospitable . . . and then some.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 16th, 2011 at 5:55 pm and is filed under Titus, Word for the Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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