Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Understanding Our Roles In Church Community: Older Men

It's interesting that the Apostle Paul writes to Titus about the different roles people play in the church family or community.  The first group Paul mentions is the older men.  Here's what he says:

Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. -Titus 2:2

Photo by liber

It's interesting that Paul tells Titus to teach older men to exercise self-control and to be filled with love and patience. The other characteristics of being worthy of respect, living wisely, and having sound faith make sense. But self-control, love and patience?

Paul knew that men (no matter what age) have an issue with being self-controlled period.  That's why he explains to Titus that it is extremely important that the older men be taught (not reminded) to be self-controlled, filled with love and patience.

Think about this:  If you're a guy, when someone cuts you off in traffic, what's your natural response?  It's probably not thinking "Oh, he/she must have an important place to be in a short time..."  Usually it's flip them the bird and tailgate them until you or they exit the highway, right?  Some women are that way but not too many.  Women are more naturally caring and concerned.  Men react first and ask questions later.

That's why Paul stressed that older men, especially, must practice self-control because it's so easy to lose our witness for Jesus when we're in the middle of cussing someone out on the highway.  (Or more importantly our witness to the little ears that may be in our cars with us...)

Throughout a lifetime, older men are taught by the world to react first and ask questions later.  Paul reminds and implores older men to practice self-control by living out our responses in love and patience. All of which are the Spirit's working in our lives.

Essentially, Paul is saying, "Older men, live by the Spirit! Other's spiritual lives depend on it!"

No comments: