For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
What do you think are the character traits and qualities that our society values in people?
What we read in the media indicates that our society values those who are successful, fun, popular, great at sport. We value those who are true to themselves, who go with what they feel. And Australians love a bit of a larrikin.
Even from a young age, my son had a dread of being a ‘nerd’ or a ‘goody goody’. And even without the negative connotations of being a ‘goody goody’, we rarely hear someone extolled just because they are good!
Titus reminds us in these verses that in God’s grace, he offers us the gift of salvation. A gift
that is thoroughly undeserved and rich beyond our comprehension. Not only is this gift
precious beyond compare, but it teaches us how to live while we wait for Jesus to return.
God’s grace teaches us to live ‘self-controlled, upright and godly lives’ (v12), and to live as God’s people, who are ‘eager to do what is good.’ These are not qualities that the world will
encourage us in. In fact, as we grow in self-control, uprightness, godliness and goodness, we may in fact find that some react negatively, even while others are attracted to our way of life.
Paul recognises this in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16: ‘For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.’
Reflection: When do you find it difficult to live a self-controlled, upright and godly life, and as
someone who is eager to do what is good? Pray that God would work in you by his Word and
Spirit to help and change you.
Nat Rosner grew up in Sydney, lives in Melbourne and loves both cities! A former lawyer, she’s now a Minister at St Hilary's in Victoria and is passionate about sunshine, summer, sport, reading and local church ministry.
This reflection was originally posted as part of a series at St Hilary's, Kew
(photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hung, our Feature Artist for April, 2017)