Text: Titus 3:12-15
We call it “tough love”—those times we say hard things to people we care about because we care too much not to say them.
Sometimes it looks like correcting a child, teaching him behaviors that may not be fun now but will benefit him as he grows.
Sometimes it looks like telling the truth to a friend, giving voice to the concerns that have been building up in our heart.
Sometimes it looks like giving instructions that we know won’t be easy or fun to carry out, but are necessary and good just the same.
In Day 1 we called this book “Titus’s Big To-Do List”, and in a sense that is exactly what it is. Paul is quite specific about what Titus is to accomplish in Crete, and he is adamant about the way leaders in the Church should behave. All of this is necessary and good. But we must not forget that underlying all the to-do’s is a foundation of love—love for the gospel, the Church, and the Lord.
When it comes down to it, this book is about caring for one another, building each other up in the name of Jesus. The book of Titus a love letter to the Church, from the Church.
Look out for each other, Paul says (I’m paraphrasing here).
Don’t pay attention to the troublemakers.
Stay focused on the Good Work.
Choose leaders wisely; they must be trustworthy and set a good example.
Choose your words carefully, too, in teaching and conversation.
Remember in Whom your hope lies.
You are heirs to an eternal inheritance; act like it.
Be honorable and have integrity.
Seek to unify, not divide.
Meet each other’s needs.
Give each other grace.
Do all these things in Jesus’ name.
Doesn’t this sound like the advice of someone who cares deeply about his brothers and sisters?
When I read these last few verses in Titus—the way Paul so specifically and earnestly asks him to care for the others—I picture a medic tent in a warzone.
Every moment counts; there is no time to waste.
Every person counts; we are all family here.
The church is a recovery ward, and we all need healing.
Sisters, Paul’s words are not just for Titus. His words are for us.
Grace over all, he says at the end his letter. Grace, grace, grace.