To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. Titus 1:15-16
Know any control freaks? They run a tight ship at home and come up with rules for everything. Like, how much water to use to wash dishes, or what knives to use to do a certain job, or even what methods to employ to stock the cupboards correctly. People who need to control everything are miserable to live with.
There’s a common trait among those who make all the rules. They don’t trust people. It’s wearisome to listen to their reasons. If a person is quiet, he’s hiding something. If he’s too sanguine, he doesn’t take his job seriously enough. If he’s generous, then he wants something from you. Unhappy are the spouses and children of such a person. Trusting will never come easily for them because of the suspicious rhetoric they hear in their home day in and day out.
Titus had to deal with people like this in the church; rule makers, otherwise known as false teachers. They manufactured laws and codes of conduct. Paul warned Titus that these people were corrupted unbelievers, though their work was in, and among, the churches. There was no pleasing them if their rules weren’t kept perfectly enough. To question them was to be traitorous and disloyal.
Christians who languish under false teaching are told that these standards are from God. Who is going to love God when He is presented as unreasonable and impossible to please? Who is going to trust God with his heart? Not many.
‘To the pure, all things are pure.’ God has given us pleasures to enjoy, starting with the enjoyment of Him. To the pure, there is no suspicion of God’s intentions. Love can be trusted. Grace and mercy inspire awe. Consciences are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Believers are the freest people in the world.
False teachers operate with satanic charisma, but also with a spirit of judgement and condemnation. They love to size people up and make assessments regarding their performance. But with the pure in heart comes the spirit of our gracious and loving God. They live to find opportunities where the love of God can be expressed. For true believers, fellowship is a party where God’s gift of salvation is celebrated among sinners saved by grace.
Are there any rule-maker tendencies left in me? Touch me with grace so that I may be gracious. Amen