20 July 2015

Titus 2:1-8

“Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured.” (vv. 7-8)

Psalm: Psalm 46


Paul has left Titus in Crete to be a bishop or overseer of the community there. It is clear that Paul considered them a difficult people to lead, and believed that in order to lead that person needs to be of exemplary character. Leading by example; giving no grounds for criticism.

When we look that those who lead whether in church, business or political life, we expect an integrity of character. Often we may feel that the media and those in political opposition do their best to dig up scandal or (let's say) 'inconsistency' in order to discredit those they would seek to remove. The cry of hypocrisy is not far from the critics' lips when people do not seem to live as they speak, and demands for resignation often follow.

We may say, of course, that we are all flawed in some respects - we are deeply human - and that God loves us first before we deserve it as gift and grace (Titus 3:4-7), but transparency and a fundamental honesty of who we are is still important to find.

Our understanding in these days of safeguarding, and what it means for people to put their trust in another who leads in order to be vulnerable but also safe, calls for some deep soul searching in our communities. For those who lead these days, rather than claiming authority over others there is a need for them to be given their authority and respect by those whom they serve in order to find for themselves that integrity we all long for.

To Ponder

  • When you encounter someone who would speak for God or a politician who would ask us to vote for them, I wonder what might your first response be - to 'Google' them or to question them or perhaps to look for what others might say of them. Who do we believe and why?
  • To whom do we give the precious gift of authority over us?

Bible notes author

The Revd Michael Sawyer

Michael Sawyer is the minister of the Chelsea Methodist Church and Fulham Methodist Church. He was previously minister of Shepherd's Bush Road Methodist Church.