Day 3

above reproach

from the above reproach reading plan


Titus 1:5-16

BY Hayley Morgan

Text: Titus 1:5-16

There were times, after attending a Christian university where there were well-intentioned rules for everything, I tried to walk a tightrope of moral righteousness and totally missed out on the idea of the Gospel. I didn’t preach the Gospel to myself every day or pursue sanctification from the position of my own lack, desperately needing Jesus. I mostly just tried to do things right on my own terms and in my own strength. My striving to be above reproach started to look more like striving for God-approval, devoid of the Gospel of grace.

I pranced around like a tiny Pharisee, measuring just how far above reproach other people were. I was the picture of leadership, naturally playing the good girl and brushing over my propensity for self-importance. I appeared tidy and shiny and above reproach on the outside, but my heart was hard and prideful. I understood very little about what Jesus’ work actually meant.

Jesus’ death (and resurrection!) means that while we abide in the Lord, His Spirit will sanctify us making us more like Him. It means that I shouldn’t spend more effort avoiding doing wrong than I do getting to know my Father. It means that my striving to be above reproach should not come before my striving to be in communion with the Lord. If I abide in the Father, the work is already done.

Appearing to be above reproach is not enough. If there is pride hiding in your heart, it matters not that you look like a fine, upstanding citizen. If you’ve got anger holding the court of your emotions, you need to do work with the Lord. Being above reproach in light of the Gospel is more than not doing the visibly bad things. It is about yielding your heart to God and letting Him excise all the things that are more of this world than of Him.

There are things we can mess up if we put them in the wrong order. If we misunderstand our identity and position in Christ, we will forever be striving to be good enough, far enough above reproach. That’s an exhausting way to live. If we stay tenderhearted and open to God’s refinement, always listening for the Spirit, we will become more like Jesus. We will be above reproach because we are hidden in Him, not because we are operating on our own strength or our own terms.

Let us seek first to know our Father, then abide in Him and be sanctified. This is the only way to be above reproach.

3
Post Comments (125)

125 thoughts on "above reproach"

  1. Shelley says:

    This is my story. I am still (not a young girl any longer) struggling with this. It doesn’t rule my days anymore but it is certainly still there.

  2. Alex says:

    “It means that my striving to be above reproach should not come before my striving to be in communion with the Lord.”

    These words struck me while reading this study today. As a long-time believer, I feel like I spend most of my time trying to “catch-up” with what I know my identity is in Christ: a pure and holy daughter of God. Often having the warped understanding that this is something I have to achieve as opposed to something I can rest in, I often focus on being good as opposed to fellowshipping with God. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Steph says:

      This is me exactly. Thank you for putting this into words! I understand all of it!

  3. Morgan says:

    Being a girl still struggling with the idea that I don’t have to live perfectly to be enough for God, this lesson was another breathe of fresh air. Another reminder of how powerful the love and strength of the Lord is; to meet me in this place with arms wide open. It still blows my mind that He craves a relationship with every single one of us! Every single person on this earth is desired by the Lord! Remembering that throughout my day is a great encouragement. Thank you for this beautiful lesson on the dangers of relying on our own strength to try to please the people, rather than reveling in the mercy of our great God who offers us rest in the shelter beneath His wings of love!

  4. DaisyMae says:

    This was a great reminder! Oh to give up striving and REST in His grace!!! His grace is enough for me!!! I pray that rings true in my heart today!

  5. Steph says:

    Great song!! And great reminder today that our behavior flows out of our identity!! Who we are in Christ!!! Sweet abiding!!

  6. Julie says:

    Jesus we are resting in The joy if what thou art. Finding out the greatness of thy loving heart -Trisha Brock.

  7. Kami says:

    A year ago someone gave me a little rock and told me to write what I’m struggling with in my life. Then after I felt like of had overcome it, I was supposed to throw the rock somewhere. I wrote “being good enough” on my rock. I still have my rock. I feel like I need to be good enough to attend my christian college, to maintain my friendships, to love my family, to teach Sunday school, to work my job. Whatever it might be I just never feel like I’m actually good enough. I struggle a lot. I seek the love of people over the love of God. But what I just learned in Hosea is that He still loves me. So I’m going to seek my relationship with Him and the rest should come pretty naturally.

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