These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. 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.
Paul ends the section that he began in v. 1:5 with these words. It seems clear at this point that his purpose was that Titus lead the people in a way that resulted in peace with everyone, in love and in congeniality. Yes, that means that there may need to be rebukes from time-to-time, but these were to be made so that everyone might participate in the fullness of Christ and never to be unkind or harsh. Of course, people being the way we are, Titus would need to ensure that nobody took advantage of other people or behaved in a hurtful manner.
If you think about it, this isn’t a bad thing, rather it is encouraging to know that the whole point of the Christian community is that it be a safe place for everyone to be, one in which no one need look over their shoulder because of bullies or people who behave badly.
It might appear to some, certainly it does to me, that Paul and Titus lived in a more civil society than we do today. Think about it: Titus, one man, was to ensure that there was order and civility in the chu8rch- one man. Apparently, there was still respect for church authority in those days, and leaders didn’t fear the mob. This is even more surprising when you consider that at the time of this writing, these people were being persecuted from the outside.
Fascinating… and instructive, don’t you think?
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