Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. Titus 3:1-2
It just seems like common sense to me that we know how to treat each other as human beings, but it seems that we’ve lost the ability to show common courtesy. We’ve forgotten the art of human interaction. In MICAH 6:8 God asks a rhetorical question to the people of Israel, “What does God require of you?” The answer is to do good, love mercy, and walk humbly with God!
I’m not sure if we really know what it means to do good or show common courtesy. There are a few elements that Titus breaks down that I think would help us:
- Subject yourself to authority. We live in a time where not too many people respect authority. I can understand this to a degree when there has been so much abuse of power; whether it’s Catholic priests abusing young boys, presidents stirring up racism, or pastors fleecing sheep. It’s enough to make you lose respect, but it is God’s intention that we subject ourselves to authority. Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit (Hebrews 13:17).
- Be ready to do whatever is good or whatever is just. One of my favorite lines in the movie “Do the Right Thing” by Spike Lee is when Ozzie Davis aka “The Mayor” (the town drunk) tells Spike Lee’s character, Mookie, “Dr., always do the right thing!” When our hearts have been changed as a result of being born again through Jesus there should be an inclination to want to do what is right. Followers of Jesus always have a compulsion to do what is right in every situation.
- Slander no one. Slander is when we make a damaging false claim about someone’s character or reputation. We should keep our mouths off people.
- Be peaceable. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Don’t be the one person that keeps a bunch of mess going on. Romans 12:18
- Be considerate. This is so huge! Because we are so consumed in our own worlds and our faces locked into the screens of our smart phones we lose the ability to consider those around us. I can’t stand it when I’m in a public space and someone is talking on the speaker phone or blasting a video that I didn’t ask to participate in. Being considerate is being aware that other people are sharing your space. When you consider that, you are sensitive to how you impact the senses of other people. Remember that we have five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell!
- Be gentle toward everyone. You can’t say the first thing that comes to your mind. You have to taste your words before you speak. Remember the Golden Rule, “treat other people the way you would want to be treated.” We should treat everybody like those boxes loaded with fragile and valuable products that read, “Handle with care!”
The world would be a much better place if everyone of us who have a relationship with Jesus would just practice common courtesy.
Help me to show common courtesy to everyone I come into contact with today. Help me to realize that my behavior either positively or negatively impacts the people around me. Show me how to do good to those around me today.
In Jesus’ Name,