God made us to live in community. We are made for relationship, whether in marriage, family, friendship, work, or a church body. And while relationship is often hard and costly this side of heaven, God uses it to shape us more and more into the likeness of His Son.
In Titus, Paul describes this wonderful opportunity for growth in godliness that comes through relationships. When we show a younger brother or sister a godly example to emulate, we spur them on to grow in holiness. When we lovingly correct one another, our words can help someone draw nearer to the Lord. When we live sacrificially for one another, we model Christ’s example and become more like Him.
Paul instructs older men and women to be examples to the younger generation. We live in a culture where everyone wants to be young, stay young, and pretend they are young—but in God’s Kingdom, age brings with it the wisdom that comes from having walked with the Lord for many years. Imagine how different our nation would be if each young person growing up today had a godly elder speaking into his or her life. Imagine the older generation spurring the younger on to godliness and the young people encouraging the older generation in return.
Paul also speaks to slaves and their masters. For us today, there’s much here that applies to the relationship between employees and their employers. You may not like your boss—but your boss is God’s gift to you. As you work for your employer as though working for the Lord—respectfully, enthusiastically, and faithfully—you display the very heart of God with your life, and you may even open a door to share the Gospel in the workplace.
In our personal time with God, we get to know our heavenly Father, but in our relationships with other people, we get to know ourselves. God uses our loved ones—and those we have a hard time loving—like a chisel to shape us into men and women who reflect the image of Christ to a broken world.
Prayer: God, sometimes loving people is hard. I know that I am often unlovable. Give me Your love for others. May my interactions be pleasing to You as I pursue godliness in my relationships. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
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