Monday, August 23, 2010


Titus 3:1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

In the New Testament God’s kindness is spoken of as the basis and the example set for us in our treatment of others. Kindness in these instances refers to philanthropy-things done for the love of mankind, or useful and helpful acts done for the benefit of the one who receives. In English the word kindness comes from the same word as kindred.

Kindness in English refers to things we do for other people that we would do for family. It is recognizing in others that they are like us, they have the same needs as we do and helping them out of that recognition. Who do we most have a hard time seeing in this way? The New Testament writers understood that we are tempted to self-righteous attitudes when it comes to “sinners” and those in authority.

Who do we like to talk down about? The people we know who aren’t living right and politicians, right? See, we have not changed much in the last 2000 years! Paul warns us in Romans 2:1-4 not to sit in judgment over others because in doing so we scorn God’s kindness toward us that brought us to repentance. In Ephesians 2:4-10, we see that God’s kindness toward us is a demonstration of his Glory that we are to emulate in the good works he has prepared in advance for us to do. In Titus 3, our main passage, Paul again points us to God’s kindness as a basis for our good works on behalf of others.

Like God’s kindness towards us began before we were righteous, our kindness toward others cannot depend on their being deserving of our help. The only prerequisite with God’s kindness was our need. We must rely on his strength to act in the same way toward others.

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