Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Titus 2:1-10

Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

How do you like being lectured to? I have always had some trouble with this. On first reading today’s passage from Titus is a lecture. Maybe I am sensitive because it speaks directly to me. You cannot dodge or intellectualize ( is this a word?) the message. Titus is clear with his instructions.

He speaks to us old folks and reminds us of the responsibility we have to lead by example and to be responsible for teaching and leading. He starts by telling us to teach “sound doctrine”. We cannot make it up or interpret based on our own view of things. The “sound doctrine” must reflect what Jesus taught.

Titus tells us how to behave. I have often in my working career had to deal with the problem that arises when a person’s perception of themselves differs from the perception others have of us. Many difficult work performance reviews are made difficult by this issue. I have learned that who we really are is how others see us. More importantly, who we really are is defined by how God sees us. He is the ultimate judge. “Good intentions alone do not a good person make”.

We teach when others see our behavior, even when we are not conscious of it. We all live in a very busy demanding and stressful environment. How we react to the difficult and stressful situations often is the real test of our true self and is how God judges us. This time of year as we rush to do all the things expected of us, how easy it is to ignore the difficult problems or the difficult people. In this season of Advent, I pray that God will give me the grace and the maturity of character to be his witness on earth and to teach his message of love and compassion according to the example give by his son Jesus. I also pray that God’s message is being taught by me on a daily basis by my own behavior to those around me.

John Dickie

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