Older men are to be self-controlled, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance… In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.Titus 2:2, 6
In Titus 2, Paul encouraged Titus to “proclaim things consistent with sound teaching” (2:1). This meant, among other things, Titus was to encourage the older men and older women in the church to make a spiritual investment in the lives of the younger men and younger women (2:2-6).
This is ongoing, personal discipleship within the church.
Spiritual and physical maturity don’t always go hand in hand, but in general, they should. As we come to faith in Jesus, we should commit to follow Jesus faithfully the remainder of our lives. This means that from the moment we first believe until the moment we take our final breath in life, we should be pursuing spiritual growth.
As we mature and grow, deepening our relationship with God and learning more about his word and how to live for his glory each day, we become examples for others. The example of faithfulness, though, is not to be passive–meaning, other people see our lives and try to imitate what is good. Rather, we are to give active encouragement.
This is why Paul charged Titus to encourage the older men and older women to teach the younger men and younger women.
Discipleship involves teaching others who come to faith in Jesus to obey all that Jesus commands (Matthew 28:18-20). Yes, sermons, Sunday school classes, and small groups can play a part in this; but some of the best teaching comes from regular interaction between an older, more spiritually mature person and a younger, less spiritually mature person.
In these interactions, those who are younger not only learn more about Jesus and the gospel, but also how God’s word applies to home life, personal character, family, and work (2:4-6).
If you are older, who’s life are you involved with so they can learn how to follow Jesus better? If you are younger, who is invested in you to help you grow and mature in faith?
This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2020 Bible Reading Calendar. All Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.