“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” Titus 2:11-15
I had not read Titus in so long that I had forgotten how powerful it was. I read this book and the entire time I was thinking “Heck ya, God, this rocks.” These things are the fundamentals of declaring Christ and salvation in our daily lives, without having to open our mouths. Dignity, sound speech, integrity, and self-control are blatantly obvious traits that we should have; and that we should KNOW we should have. This is not the case these days. So many people from our generation (and especially from the next generation of youth) are being brought up in a world that makes them believe these things are not important or completely “uncool”. It is fun to talk about inappropriate things. It is cool to say derogatory words. It is totally normal to make a promise and shirk on it. People are second guessing themselves and wondering well “if this is ok, shouldn’t this be ok?” or “was it really all that bad to begin with?” I struggle all the time trying to control what I say and how I think about things; and it makes me extremely sad that it is so difficult.
We are called to be different from the world, as new creations in Christ we are now fundamentally “counter-culture”. We should be proud of this, not trying to fit in with the world in the name of reaching them on their level. We miss out on nothing whatsoever when we choose to refrain from making crude jokes or using foul words. Life is so much more joyful when it is not filled with filth. I am trying to find ways to make uplifting thoughts second nature to me and it is genuinely hard but so worth it.
For the month of April I am going to make it a special focus in my life to break bad thought patterns and change certain aspects of my life. We are going to try to live much more simply; owning fewer things, dropping our eco footprint, starting a kitchen garden, and making time to truly enjoy the life God blessed us with.