A true Christian believes certain truths. A true Christian lives in ways that reflect the truths that they believe. A true Christian speaks about the truth. With this three-fold basis, the world should be able to recognize Christians at first glance. It should not necessarily be because of the clothes that we wear as much as the lifestyle that we wear. It should not be as much about the words we choose not to use as the words of love, gentleness, and truth that we do use constantly.
However, some Christians live in ways that seem to indicate that these realities are not necessary in the life of every believer. Some consider themselves Christians, yet they fail to understand and believe the basic truths of the Christian faith. Others mentally affirm the truths of the Christian faith, but they fail to ever live in any way that would indicate that they have been “converted” or changed from their sinful lifestyle to live a holy lifestyle. Others still believe rightly, and even perhaps live rightly, but their words reflect a different reality. Instead of hungering after the truth of God’s Word, and instead of desiring to discuss the matters of Scripture with those around them, they pursue conversation and arguments that are of such low value, that they may have been better served to not engage in conversation at all.
In our modern context this is possibly most evidenced through Facebook. Through arguing and banality some people indicate that they have not been fully affected by the word of God. Instead of “preferring others better than themselves,” some people go about seeking to convince others of their non-spiritual opinions or preferences. Instead of explaining clearly the gospel of Jesus Christ, some stoop to argue about much less important things. This is a sad derailment of their main purpose that God gave them at conversion. Instead of being known by their love of God and his gospel, their social media platform looks more like a right-wing or left-wing conspiracy theorist.
At times, we even see misguided Christians labor passionately to convince others of some political position or some great social cause for which they are zealous, but in their fervor they have left off their obedience to the command of God to share the truth of the gospel and to demonstrate the love of the gospel. In exchange for obedience to the commands of God, they have pursued being perceived as “intellectual” or “well-learned.” At the end of the day, when they enter a conversation it is simply with motives to demonstrate their “rightness” and not to learn, or help, or exhort.
As we read Titus 3:9, we would do well to see that these people who are side-tracked by conspiracy theories, or political agendas have fallen quite short of the clear command to live and speak the truth of God. Instead of pursuing righteousness, they celebrate misguided conversation and relish preoccupation with things of little or no eternal consequence. In foolishness, they become children of the King enthralled by the trinkets of the beggar.
Reflect: Why would Paul exhort Titus to “avoid foolish questions…contentions, and strivings”?