Text: Titus 2:6-10
“…so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.”
This passage makes me feel so grouchy. The NKJV puts it like this: “Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works…” (v. 6-7).
Be “sober-minded”? Really? Set a “pattern of good works”? Oh man.
I don’t know about you, but those phrases take all the helium out of my balloons. They take all the confetti out of my horns, all the toots out of my noisemakers. I like the idea of other people being sensible and sober-minded, but not necessarily me. I prefer to think that I’m creatively-minded and joyfully inclined.
I feel great about the first part of this passage, about how the young men should be sober-minded. I totally agree with that. Those hooligans! The young men should get it together! And stop wearing such tight pants. And stop growing frivolous facial hair.
But Paul isn’t just talking to the young men. He addresses all of us. He tells us to set a pattern of good works, and “in everything… adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (v. 10). He means I should decorate the gospel with my life! Do you think of yourself as an adornment to the gospel, as something that makes the gospel beautiful to the world?
Whoa. I think my pastor is an adornment to the gospel, but I feel like a goiter on the side of the gospel. Like, the gospel is this beautiful picture of redemption and truth, and I’m there hanging on to the side of it with a crooked grin and weird hairs sticking out. I’m there, I’m lovin’ it, but I’m not necessarily making the gospel MORE beautiful. You know?
Paul is reminding us to apply the gospel to every part of life. Christ has called us to make His gospel even more beautiful to the world by being reverent, discreet and, yes, sober-minded.
The gospel makes us a peculiar people. If we call ourselves Christians we are followers of Christ, and that means we are serious about spiritual things. We are different from the world. We are called to live in a peculiar way.
And peculiar can be beautiful and free.