At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. Titus 3:3a
If my most trusted friend were to tell me that I was foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved, I would be shocked. Then repulsed. And then, sad.
If the one who revealed these things to me had credibility, how much would I comprehend the extent of my condition? Not much at all. Sin is insidious and my need to think better of myself than I ought to think, feeds my blindness. As I think about each characteristic Paul described to Titus, I realize some things about what it’s like to live apart from Christ.
- Those who are enslaved say that they really are free because they have ‘freedom of choice’. They consider their options, make a decision, and that’s freedom, right? Jesus says no. The capacity to weigh all the options with the mind of Christ is absent. Only a man or woman whose conscience has been set free from the father of lies is truly free.
- Those who are foolish believe themselves to wise, even brilliant. Education makes a person smart in their field and gives a false sense of confidence about the ability to navigate life successfully. Making smart decisions by the world’s standards is usually worlds apart from making wise decisions that align with the kingdom of God. The wisdom of God is seen as foolishness unless God wires a new code into the heart of a new believer.
- Those who are deceived find it hard to believe that they aren’t thinking clearly. Bad judgement doesn’t always lack critical thinking. The most seasoned sinner has logical rationales for bad behavior. Deception is layers thick and begins with a history that precedes them. The human mindset is fraught with distortions because children are raised in an orphanage called planet earth. God must re-parent each of His children, teaching them how to see the world as He does. None of it comes naturally.
- Those who are disobedient cling to justifications that soothe their vague misgivings. They might admit that their behavior is wrong for someone else, but for them, there are extenuating circumstances that make it okay.
As God’s child, I am no longer hopelessly enslaved, foolish, deceived, or disobedient. I have a new nature, one that hates sin and loves righteousness. But I battle my moments of fleshly imperfections with the sword of the Word. God’s Spirit searches my heart and reveals what He finds. He brings spiritual understanding and then empowers me to walk in His Spirit.
All glory be to You, God. Amen