Sharp Rebukes

Journal Entry // October 10, 2022

This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, (ESV)

Titus 1:13

How do I handle a rebuke from a fellow believer that is seeking to correct an obvious error in my life? Does this answer change if the rebuke is sharp? I’m afraid the answer is the same for both questions. I don’t seem to handle a rebuke very well at all. My initial reaction is typically and reflexively defensive. I want to justify or excuse away my actions. I want to explain why my situation is not the same as everyone else’s situation. No, I do not handle a rebuke, sharp or not, from anyone very well. This is unfortunate as this is necessary for my spiritual growth and health. How am I to better see and understand my errors if they are not pointed out to me? It is easy for me to turn a blind eye to sin in my life. To just brush it away with a lot of nonsense that makes me feel better about why my situation is unique and God understands or even condones my actions. No, I need those sharp rebukes. I need a good friend and companion to help me see the error of my way. I need people in my life who care enough to help me stay on the straight and true path of the Lord.

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Relational Gentleness

Journal Entry // October 25, 2021

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, [2] to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

Titus 3:1-2 ESV

Paul’s final reminder to the people under the care and shepherding of Titus was focused on their relationships with everyone. The command to love your neighbor does not require an in depth study to determine who is my neighbor for everyone is my neighbor. Paul is reminding us that to love our neighbor we will see these general characteristics being developed and utilized in our lives: submissive, obedient, ready for good works, speech, avoiding quarrel, gentle, and courtesy.

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Lawless to Zealous

Journal Entry // October 22, 2021

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.

Titus 2:14 ESV

Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice to not only redeem us from the sin that oppressed us in our rebellion, but to purify us. In my journey through this life I find myself forgetting these two points. One, that God has/is working all things for my redemption. Second, that he is purifying me for himself. He brings me back and makes me into something new.

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Heart In Action

Journal Entry // October 19, 2022

They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Titus 1:16 ESV

Words and actions are important as they reveal the state of your heart for all to see. The inner secret state of my heart is not quite so secret and hidden as I like to think it is. I like to think that my mind and my heart are established and kept in private, but in reality my heart and mind are exposed through the words and actions that are expressed in daily life. They flow from deep within my innermost being and manifest in my relationships and attitude.

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