Updated: Mar 10, 2021
"We are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God..."
In Titus 2:12, Paul implies that humans are traveling down a common road. That road leads us toward self indulgence and wantonness. In a phrase, we are pursuing our own selfish desires. But Christ Jesus is calling us to turn from this road and to go another way. Instead of pursuing sinful pleasures, we should live in a way that pleases God.
What does it mean to live in a way that pleases God? Paul gives us some suggestions here. Notice that the three terms Paul encourages Titus to pursue are: wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God. In other words, we should use good judgement. We should live in a godly way. And we should be dedicated to serving God.
One can use this perspective in a practical way when making difficult decisions in life. The next time you have a challenging life issue to decide upon, try this approach when assessing your options. Ask yourself, is this option moral, wise, and relationship-building?
For example, let's say you are offered a new job and you're not sure what to do. Ask yourself, is taking this job moral--is it compatible with what the Bible teaches? Next, ask yourself, is taking this job wise--would it be a good decision for your family and your personal goals? If it passes these two tests, then ask yourself, will this decision improve your devotion to God or will it detract from it?
If your decision isn't immoral, foolish, or detracting from your relationship with God, then you have the freedom to select it, but that doesn't mean you have to. A better approach would probably be to look for opportunities that help you grow in your relationship with the Lord. Such things are almost always wise because they lead to greater godliness. And living in a way that pleases God is always the right choice.
(New Living Translation; photo credit: Wix media)