To Titus, my true son in our common faith. Titus 1:4
As I walked into my new supervisor’s office, I was feeling wary and emotionally raw. My old supervisor had run our department with harshness and condescension, often leaving me (and others) in tears. Now I wondered, What would my new boss be like? Soon after I stepped into my new boss’ office, I felt my fears dissipate as he welcomed me warmly and asked me to share about myself and my frustrations. He listened intently, and I knew by his kind expression and gentle words that he truly cared. A believer in Jesus, he became my work mentor, encourager, and friend.
The apostle Paul was a spiritual mentor to Titus, his “true son in our common faith” (Titus 1:4). In his letter to Titus, Paul offered him helpful instructions and guidelines for his role in the church. He not only taught but modeled how to “teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine” (2:1), set “an example by doing what is good,” and “show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech” (vv. 7–8). As a result, Titus became his partner, brother, and coworker (2 Corinthians 2:13; 8:23)—and a mentor of others.
Many of us have benefited from a mentor—a teacher, coach, grandparent, youth leader, or pastor—who guided us with their knowledge, wisdom, encouragement, and faith in God. Who could benefit from the spiritual lessons you’ve learned in your journey with Jesus?
Who’s been a spiritual mentor to you? For whom have you been a mentor? And whom might you mentor?
Father, I’m thankful for all those who mentored me when I needed them most. Guide me to someone who might need my encouragement today.
The word self-controlled used in today’s passage (Titus 2:1–8) is a translation of the Greek word sṓphrōn, which means “to be sound in mind.” Self-mastery—mature judgment, proper restraint—is what’s in view. Paul uses a form of this word five times in Titus. Those charged with the spiritual oversight of God’s people were to be “self-controlled” (1:8). And in a culture where people were known to be “liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons” (v. 12), believing men and women (2:2, 5–6) were to be examples of those who by the grace of God were choosing “to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions” and to instead “live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” (v. 12).