"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good..." (Titus 3:1, NIV).
This was a reminder Paul knew wouldn't be easy nor preferable for the
people to always put into action, as it could easily go against personal
feelings. Nevertheless, the reminder was of God and is applicable and
beneficial for those who follow Christ today.
"...be subject to
rulers and authorities." Simply put, respect and honor those who are in
leadership over you. You don't have to agree, but you are called to
submit. When human laws attempt to usurp the authority and the truth of
God's laws, you are to follow God in the obedience to which He has
called you. But in doing so, you are to remain respectful and honorable.
be obedient." Obedience is better than sacrifice and service. God
hasn't called you to obligation. He called you to obedience. Listen to
His voice. It will inevitably, at times, conflict with your feelings and
your preferences, but obedience will guide you in the continual favor
and protection of God's presence.
"...to be ready to do whatever
is good." God has called you to righteous living. This doesn't mean
"good" as you interpret or perceive good, but how GOD sees "good." There
is nothing truly "good" that contradicts the standards of God's
holiness or the character of Him who is called good.
slander no one." You've heard the old addage, "if you can't say
something nice, then don't say anything at all." Choose not to speak ill
against those who have also been created in the same image of God as
you. You can speak words of rebuke and correction and still maintain the
heart of Christ. Let the words you speak always be motivated by the
restorative love of Jesus.
"...to be peacable and considerate."
Don't live in conflict. Choose to consider others over yourself. Let
compassion and humility be guiding forces in your life. Pursue peace
over position. Don't always attempt to "one up" or "be on top" in a
conversation. It's not about being walked over. It's about standing on
something more sturdy and strong than the fragility of personal ego.
gentle toward everyone." Everyone is a pretty strong word that doesn't
leave much room for interprative liberties. Gentleness IS part of the
fruit of the spirit and THAT MEANS it is part of the EVIDENCE that the
Spirit of God is working in you.