Daily Devotion, 08/15/2018, “Excellent and Profitable”
Titus 3:8b-9 NIV
And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
Years back, I accepted the lunch invitation of a young student pastor that I had met briefly at a class. I didn’t know why he wanted to meet. I thought maybe it was to network with me or receive some mentoring or maybe just to hang out. His opening question to me was, “So what do you believe about baptism?” It turns out that he was in a denomination that had a significantly different view of baptism than I have. He had no interest in an intellectually honest and respectful conversation in our time together. His goal was to convince me that he and his church were right and that I was wrong. I listened patiently, said very little, paid for our lunch and left thinking, “Did that really just happen?”
I field faith questions, Bible questions and spiritual journey questions with all kinds of people quite often in my line of work. I enjoy those conversations even if we ultimately see things differently. On the other hand, I don’t take the bait to argue or debate with people on social media or even face to face because that is most always a total waste of time. Paul would say that those interactions are not excellent, profitable and useful. Instead of wasting time on “foolish controversies,” Paul encourages us to be careful to devote ourselves “to doing what is good.” The bottom line is that your argumentative words will do little to draw others closer to God. In fact, your words will likely push them further away. If you will instead focus on “doing good” in a way that reflects the good heart of your “Good, Good Father, the impact of your actions just might create opportunities with them that your words never could.
May your words be few. May you devote yourself doing good things that “are excellent and profitable for everyone.” You are loved!