Titus 2:7-8, “In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (NIV)
This verse is not just for those who teach formally – pastors, Sunday School teachers and the like. It’s for every believer.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 gives the task of teaching to everyone.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (NIV)
All of us teach. Our words to the young influence them. When our words and actions match, that influence is more than doubled.
Show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech when you teach others. That doesn’t mean you have to be sour-faced and dour when you’re talking about God’s Word. Seriousness does not mean joyless. God is full of joy. You do not reflect him when you never laugh, never joke, never smile at the ironic.
Showing integrity in what you teach means that you live what you say matters. Showing seriousness means that you don’t treat God or His Word casually. Showing soundness of speech means that all that you say points others to the truth – the truth about salvation, the truth about who God is, the truth about grace and judgment, the truth about creation, the truth.
Ken Davis came to Argonia a few years back. We all laughed our heads off as he talked about his granddaughter’s temper tantrum. We laughed harder when told of his own fit over a Looney Tunes jacket. We split a gut when he pulled the jacket out and put it on. Then we sat in silence as he talked about God’s great love for us and about Jesus’ provision for our salvation.
Showing integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech when we teach does not preclude laughter. It does require a deep love for God.
The greatest command: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Matthew 22:37, NIV)
That kind of love shows up when you encourage others to be self-controlled. That kind of love is seen as you do good. That kind of love is expressed in the seriousness you bring to your teaching.
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