In a similar way urge the young men to be sensible and self-controlled and to behave wisely [taking life seriously]. Titus 2:6, Amplified Bible
Faith is a serious matter. What we believe and how we behave can be the difference between heaven and hell, life or death. An abundant life or one of misery and hopelessness are competing outcomes, based on our sober mindedness about eternal matters. Life sets us up for suffering so it’s imperative that we prepare our hearts and minds to persevere through difficulties and love one another. Faith in Christ and the character of Christ is wisdom to overcome deception, lies and arrogance.
Paul urges his protege Titus to call out young men to a higher standard of living that takes life seriously. The reality of being a responsible human being who is self-controlled and behaves wisely refrains from overindulging now, and instead learns to wait and prepare his character to handle the Lord’s favor. To behave wisely is to accept that life’s challenges have been around for millennia, and that wise behavior comes from God and learning from those who have faithfully followed Jesus over their lifetime. Taking life seriously means being a lifelong learner of God.
“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance” (Titus 2:2).
Sadly, some older males need to grow up and become men, the kind of men younger men can follow and learn from. Trade in your t-shirt for a starched shirt and stop acting like a kid. Some women need to quit obsessing over their outward appearance and spend as much energy and attention in cultivating a kind, generous heart that finds ways to serve others. Taking God seriously means taking seriously what matters to Him: lost souls, poverty, injustice, unforgiveness, fear and unbelief. Seriousness over our sins that sent Christ to the cross calls us to repentance!
Self-control at work may call you to resist manipulating for a promotion now in exchange for supporting the team and growing long-term respect. Self-control at home may mean giving up a hobby or career in exchange for a season of unselfish service. What does it mean to take life seriously by behaving wisely? Instead of spending more than you make, wisdom instructs you to pay your taxes, save, give and spend what remains. Wise living leads to fulfilled living! Take the Lord more seriously and you will enjoy the freedom of grace and the joy of willful obedience.
“Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, AMP).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a heart that takes seriously what You take serious, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Application: What area of my life needs the serious attention of God’s grace and wisdom?
Related Readings: Proverbs 5:14; Jeremiah 8:11; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:10-18; Titus 2:12