HOW TO REBUKE EVIL EFFECTIVELY
"They who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works” Titus 3:8
The alternative reading suggested in the Revised Version, "careful to profess honest occupations," helps us to understand what was in the mind of the Apostle when he wrote these words. The whole chapter reveals the kind of world in the midst of which these Cretan Christians were living. It was characterized by INSUBORDINATION TO AUTHORITY, BY LAZINESS, BY DISAFFECTION AND CONTENTION, AND BY EVERY FORM OF EVIL EXCESS. Moreover, it was intellectually a world of wrangling and disputes over all sorts of things. In the midst of such conditions the Christians stood fundamentally as those who believed God. To believe God is to believe His Word, His revelation of the true order of life. Those who stood on that belief could testify to the power of it in no better way than that of GOOD WORKS, that is, by following a quiet and diligent life of DEVOTION TO DUTY, in CALLINGS which in themselves were HONEST. And that is always so. THERE IS NO MORE POWERFUL FORCE FOR REBUKING ALL EVIL THINGS, WHETHER OF CONDUCT OR OF OPINION, THAN THAT OF THE QUIET, STRONG, PERSISTENT LIFE OF MAN OR WOMAN WHO GOES ON FROM DAY TO DAY DOING THE DUTIES OF THE DAY WELL, CHEERFULLY, AND WITH JOY. It is not easy; and that is recognized in the very verb employed. They are "to be careful"; that is, they are to MAKE IT A STUDY, TO TAKE THOUGHT ABOUT IT. It is not easy, but it is worthwhile as well as effective.