Once Were, Still Are
OMG! That’s oh my goodness.
Titus 3. The first three verses are as 21st Century as we can get!
Titus 3 Amplified Bible (AMP) Remind people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready and willing to do good, 2 to slander or abuse no one, to be kind and conciliatory and gentle, showing unqualified consideration and courtesy toward everyone. 3 For we too once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various sinful desires and pleasures, spending and wasting our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. source
Verse 1. First two words: Remind People. Do you think Paul knew we the people needed to be reminded to obey and respect the police and authorities who have been established to keep peace and order in the land? Does verse one say to do otherwise is not good?
Verse 2. Do you see that list of actions, beginning with an action to not take and then moving into positive actions that we are to offer to a select few? NO. It says, everyone! Yes. I’m afraid so. Everyone! Whether we like them or not, hold the same world view or not and heaven-forbid is not of the same political party.
No slander. No abuse. Instead be kind, conciliatory, gentle, unqualified consideration, courtesy.
Don’t you dare think this means doormat!
Today, in this culture, kindness is not hinged on truth but comfort – making all parties of the exchange comfortable. This is not Biblical kindness. Biblical kindness does no harm. It promotes not only the happiness of another but also their well-being. Lying or withholding eternal truth from another soul is in no measure kind.
Moreover, I found this:
Yet human imitation of God’s kindness does not come naturally. In fact, ultimately no one is kind (Psalm 14: 3; Rom 3:12 ). It is only as the fruit of God’s Spirit that kindness can be a consistent part of the believer’s experience ( Gal 5:22 ). source
Wow! Does this mean to carry out this list of positive actions we must be yielded to the HOLY SPIRIT?
What do you think?
Verse 3. Do you see that word too? Hold on to it, it’s real important. Look again at the list in verse 3.
foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various sinful desires and pleasures, spending and wasting our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
The reason for the establishment of rules and authorities in verse 1 is the list of behaviors in verse 3. And why do people behave in these ways? That’s an easy answer: failure to yield to the HOLY SPIRIT.
Now, back to the word too.
For we too once were. And without continued yielding to the HOLY SPIRIT, we will easily slip back into some of those behaviors. Thus this instruction in Titus: REMIND PEOPLE.
WE are the People he’s reminding – the once were, not the still are. And unless we are KIND the still are will not come to be the once were.