Paul goes back to contrasting godly people who apply sound (healthy) doctrine with the ungodly false teachers. He addresses several groups: older men, older women, younger women, younger men, and slaves. I will briefly define each with the results of my Greek word studies of some of the characteristics:
Older men were to be temperate in the use of wine, serious-minded, worthy of respect, self-controlled, sane in mind, having faith that was free from error, loving, and unswerving from their deliberate purpose even in the midst of trials.
Older women were to act in a way that represented holy living by not being false accusers or slanderers (the root of the Greek word is where we derive the English word, diabolical!) or drunks. Instead of doing these pointless and idle things, they were to invest deeply in younger women by teaching them about loving their husband, children, living self-controlled, holy lives, and being active in household duties. This would be a wonderful witness to the watching world!
Younger men were to exercise self-control by curbing their passions and being of sound estimate about themselves (notice all four groups have been encouraged in self-control/sensibility). Titus was considered a younger man so Paul told him to be an example of living out his healthy faith through good deeds, a serious attitude, and speech that was not worthy of condemnation by anyone.
Slaves were to honor God by obeying, not talking back, or stealing.
Paul concludes the chapter by saying the grace of God has brought salvation to people from all walks of life, and we must live godly lives and practice good deeds; fixing our hope on Jesus and a future with Him. The world would be watching to see if Christ really made a difference in their behavior because it certainly did not make a difference in the lives of the false teachers.
On Mother's Day this year, I got a text:
Happiest of Mother's Day! I pray that you know how many spirits, souls, sons & daughters you have blessed :) Thank you for impacting me! Love u:)I have only biological sons, but God has blessed me with many spiritual daughters who are learning a variety of things. This week I have had many investment times. I had a "telephone chat" with one who is learning contentment in singleness and the balance between ministry and soul renewal. I had a "coach chat" with another who is managing depression and making decisions about her future. I had a walk with another navigating the waters of a newly blossoming relationship while preparing to go overseas. I had an evening meeting with another preparing to go to the Middle East in one month and wondering whether the separation will make or break her current relationship. In our Jesus Community, my husband and I encourage a newlywed couple and another young couple where the wife is still transitioning from being a career woman to a stay-at-home mom. On top of that, we will have women who are on break from their jobs in China and India stay with us for extended amounts of time. As I type, another young woman is texting me and wanting to get together tomorrow night. Life is full of investment; the eternal kind.
I am not usually "idle" so I have no time to slander or gossip like many older women (not that I would want to). Paul is exhorting Timothy to exhort his flock to live interconnected in a healthy way that brings glory to God. We can get "healthy doctrine" from a Sunday morning sermon, but Paul wants us to let that truth lead to transformational living through intimate and accountable relationships with one another.
I heartily believe the best way to live this way is not using the excuse that you have never been discipled but to invest in someone who is even a little younger than you spiritually. You have SO much to offer others. You just do not know it.
Do not wait for an older man or woman to pop into your life. Pray for it, but be an older man or woman to someone else. In the process, you will be held accountable and grow too!
Where is the younger man or woman that you can invest in? Pray and watch for God to provide him or her.
Lord, I pray that everyone reading this blog can know the wonderful joy that comes through intimate accountability with another believer. Amen.