Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Titus 2:11-14 (NRSV)
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
Just as so many Blacks in America typically grew up hearing about the importance of being a “credit to their race,” Paul urges followers reading his letter to Titus to live so that their testimony as believers in Christ—then considered a questionable minority religion—might be unimpeded. Living beyond reproach was particularly important; the good news of God’s redemption for everyone sharply contradicted the Jewish teaching that Israel was God’s sole choice for salvation. Thus, the Christian gospel of redemption for all people was subjected to ridicule. Paul’s words reminded the believers that their “self-controlled, upright, and godly” behavior could verify the promise of the gospel. Bad behavior could allow inaccurate accusations of detractors to take hold and subvert the gospel message.
I am reminded today of the importance of Christians’ behavior toward one another, especially toward racial minorities, many of whom are daily confronted by the negative and debilitating impact of false stereotypes deeply ingrained in our society. How we respond to one another, despite our differences, can validate the gospel message of God’s equal love and justice for all people. Racist language, attitudes, and behaviors of Christians can allow Christianity to appear as a sham.
Holy God, teach us how to love and serve all your people. We praise you for your great love for all people. We pray in the name of Jesus, who came to live among us. Amen.
Go with God.