Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.
When Dr Billy Graham died, full of years, the news was full of his integrity in his relationships and in his care in the way he used money. He understood that the message had to be modelled by the messenger. He answered every letter, even when it was from those who disagreed with his ministry. He faced disagreement with dignity. He made mistakes of course, but apologised for them. His intention was to avoid the Gospel being brought into disrepute by his words or actions.
This section of the letter to Titus concerns itself with pastoral advice on how to live as a community of Christ’s people. The rashness of young men is known to the writer and therefore he counsels self control. Thus healthy community rests on each section of the community having concern for the others, rather than simply giving way to the impulse of the moment.
Lord, In Jesus we see the Word centred life. May our words and actions point beyond ourselves. Deliver us from hasty speech and shallow judgements. By your spirit, grant us wisdom, Enable us to face opponents with grace And model good works unselfconsciously, For your name’s sake, Amen
The Rev’d Richard Church is a member of Streatham URC and serves as Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship).