A construction company in Belize recently destroyed one of the nation’s largest Mayan pyramids while excavating for a new road.
The loss is incalculable, and authorities blame it on laziness. Builders were too slothful to figure a way around the treasure, so they took the easy way out, bulldozing through it without thinking.
We do a lot of damage by taking the easy way out. In the book of Titus, the apostle Paul told his troubleshooter, Titus, how to minister to people who were converted from a culture filled with “liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12).
The setting was the island of Crete, which Paul and Titus had evangelized. Titus remained on the island to get the churches organized and to develop the work. But he struggled to oversee churches filled with people who had grown up without self-discipline.
That sounds like a relevant subject, doesn’t it? How do we move from laziness to self-control and spiritual maturity?
- In chapter 1, Paul laid down the qualifications of mature and hard-working church leaders.
- In chapters 2 and 3, he told Titus what to say to various groups and to the Church as a whole.
The same grace that brought salvation, he wrote, teaches us to say “No” to worldly passions, to deny laziness and lust, and to live soberly and righteously in this world.
The message of Titus is: God’s work should be well-organized and His workers self-controlled as we go about building, not bulldozing, His Church in this world.
Godly leaders should set in order what is lacking in the Church by teaching sound doctrine and modeling self-discipline.
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13).
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1).
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men” (Titus 3:8).