Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. 2 They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
I remember my school teachers introducing me to proper sentence structure and knowing the difference between past, present and future tense. It is important to know where we are and when. That lesson is appropriate when we look at the very first word of our text today. “Remind,” it is not in the past nor the future tense, but rather in the “now” of the moment.
Our present behavior tells others around us import aspects of who we are. Not who we were or who we will become, but rather who we are…people of faith who care about others. Do our words attract others, or by our words, do we repel folks? Do we give everyone respect even in disagreement?
The letter to Titus from Paul (or one of his assistants; the authorship is questionable) is important. Titus was instrumental in calming the volatile waters in the ancient city of Corinth. Instead of being a lightning rod that destroys relationships, Titus brought calm and peace. Our times are no less difficult than in the time of antiquity. Our society seems to be pulled from one divisive situation to another. There is never a day that we are not being questioned about appropriate courses of action. Hurtful words are being tossed around as if the feelings of others do not matter.
We have a responsibility to be obedient and submissive to “good government.” And even when we deem government to be bad, what should our behavior be like? Are our words destructive or constructive? Certainly, we can question government effectiveness and goodness for her citizenship. As Christians, our attitudes and actions are viewed from the perspective of unity and love. Do our words reflect Christ?
Our text “reminds” us about the act of doing good, not slandering or arguing with others in “no win confrontations.” We can say, “Yes but…” and point a finger at our government leaders or the media who reports about them. However, are we gentle with our own words? Are we humble in our actions, especially in hostile encounters? May the peace of Christ Jesus especially be with us in difficult situations and conversations. “…be gentle and show true humility to everyone.”