Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:4-5
Something tragic happens when these beautiful attributes get turned upside down. When women fail to love their husbands and children, when they are erratic, wild, and out of control, when they neglect their home, when they are unkind, and when they rise to usurp authority outside of God’s order, the outcome is this ~ people spurn the scriptures. Why would this be the result?
When I say one thing and behave in an opposite way, I am called a hypocrite. The Word of God becomes a joke. Unbelievers will conclude that it has no power, that it’s not to be taken seriously. If I am someone who claims to love Jesus, yet do not follow His teachings, then how real can my faith be? Many unbelievers are looking for reasons to reject Christ and how tragic when I become the stumbling block they seek.
‘Malign’ is a strong word. It goes far beyond unbelievers thinking badly of the Word of God. To malign the scriptures is to be vicious and hostile. The foundation of enmity between them and God is already in place by the god of this world. It doesn’t take much of a spark for the flames of antagonism toward Jesus to spread like wildfire.
Islam is the fasting growing religion in the world. It is estimated that by the year 2060, it will have overtaken Christianity in vast numbers. There are many reasons for this, but one is quite sobering. It is their love and devotion to the Koran. It permeates their lives and shapes every choice. Tragically, we see this even when radicalized.
The answer to all of this is not for believers, for me, to strive to be kind, self-controlled, one who respects authority, etc. That would be behavior modification. The only witness of the life-changing power of Christ is a changed life from the inside out. Passionate love for Jesus will only be evident as the life of His Spirit lives through me, as the fruits of His Spirit overtake my own soul. My talk of a kind Savior will ring true if I am kind. My talk of a humble, suffering servant will only ring true if I am humble and willing to serve when there’s nothing in it for me. Jesus laid down all self-interest, all autonomy, to do the will of His Father. When I do the same, I am not a martyr. I am a credible disciple.
I am a grateful sinner, saved by grace. I worship you with my life. Amen