Goat? Yes please.

The first person I thought of when reading the following two verses was our eleven-year-old son. If you know the young man in this post’s featured image, you know one of his many fine qualities is that he is a rule-follower, doesn’t speak falsely of anyone, and is gentle and courteous. Adults gravitate toward Peyton; in part I believe because he’s polite and can come off as very mature. He enjoys engaging with adults and asking good questions, loves trying food that would horrify most kids, and shows genuine interest in what people have to say.

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:1-2)

Several of these attributes played out the other night at our favorite restaurant when we noticed the famous chef/owner Stephanie Izard was there running the kitchen. It was Peyton’s first time at this restaurant, and he was delighted to learn that he could just walk right up and meet his newest hero. It was a brief chat and a great photo opportunity, but what made it excellent was observing the dialogue and demeanor of both individuals. Peyton conveyed how much he loved the goat belly and escargot ravioli, which put a big smile on the chef, as well as myself.

I’ve taken the time to share this today because I thought about the reasons why we’re taught to live out the attributes in Titus 3:1-2. Titus 3:8 points to the crux of the reasons: so we can be role models for other believers and because these things are excellent and profitable. We’ve got a saying in our home “good things happen with good behavior”, and it is true. When we’re genuinely courteous, we are much more fun to be around. I see these as simple truths that regardless of someone’s belief in God, we can observe a real-life situation, something excellent, we are moved by it, and we want more of it.

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (Titus 3:8)

In the big picture here this points to us seeking to live like Christ, the one who showed the ultimate act of kindness and love toward us through his perfect sacrifice. What could be more excellent and profitable than that?

2 Kings 17; Titus 3; Hosea 10; Psalms 129–131