I believe the Greatest Investment we can make upon this Earth is People. We are living in a world where so many people are hurting, living in dysfunctional homes, confused, and they have no moral compass. They need people who will love, guide, support, and encourage them. The apostle Paul instructed Titus with these words, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
The word “example” literally refers to the visible mark or impression left by the strokes or blows of an instrument. It was also used to describe the pattern or mold into which clay or wax was pressed and eventually came to be used of something that was a copy of the original. John Maxwell said, “We teach what we know but we reproduce what we are.” Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” I have come to realize as a Pastor and as a Dad, My best preaching comes from the life I live not the sermons I preach. As we live out our lives doing what is good we give structure to those around us and also provide a moral compass for them to live by.
Titus is told to teach with integrity, which means he is to do so with the absence of self-seeking motives. Truly valuing those lives we invest in. People know if our motives are real or false. Genuineness of heart makes all the difference. Our culture, like the Cretan culture, values silliness above substance. If you don’t believe me, just tune into one of the “reality shows” on TV. If we are going to mentor each other, we must look at life not with levity, but with a sense of brevity, as verse 7 states. We must help the younger generation sort out the truth from that which is trivial.
Men who mentor must be sound in speech according to verse 8. This is the word “healthy” again. We must realize that our words either bring life or they bring death to people. We can build up or tear down. Solomon said, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The apostle Paul said, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
A mentor must assist others in handling hardship. The word “opposition” means to be “over against something or someone” and was used in Matthew 14:24 of the wind that was “against” the boat. Opposition is inevitable in the Christian life, from the world, sometimes from people, and always from Satan, who is referred to as our “adversary” in 1 Peter 5:8. The best way to help younger men is to encourage them to “walk their talk,” then “those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Remember to stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Your example and your investment in people change the landscape of their lives every day. Your life and my life can change our world for the better.
In the Love of Christ,
Bro. Wayne Moak