Paul’s True son in the faith.
Left alone on the island of Crete.
Left to straighten out, reinforce, assign leaders, good leaders.
What are the qualities of a good leader?
“6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
Titus was also supposed to silence the opposition. If this were a movie that would mean snuff them out. I don’t think that’s what Paul meant here.
Once Paul was being harassed by an evil spirit that was in a slave girl. She followed him taunting him and mocking him.
“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
This did not go smoothly for Paul and Silas. They were arrested, beaten and flogged and thrown into prison. And God even used that. They were in chains in the prison having a worship service and God sent an earthquake that set them free. But they didn’t use that to escape. They shared Jesus with their terrified jailer and he and his household were saved.
We have the Holy Spirit living in us, he can give us a heart for our taunters and words to use to change hearts and minds.
“For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[c] 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith.”
A rebuke sharp enough to silence people with evil intent. I’m not sure what that would sound like. The Holy Spirit does know and can use us if we are listening to him and ingesting the words of God.
We will encounter some people that just don’t want what we have and will try to destroy what we teach.
“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. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”
There will be times when we are opposed. Answer this question and then proceed with caution. Are we trying to win arguments or win souls?
It is helpful to me to remember who i was, how i was and where i was headed before i met Jesus. It’s all about sharing Jesus with people like us, who don’t deserve His mercy and grace but can receive it freely, just like we did.