“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance” – Titus 2:1-2
I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything recently, but it’s been a very busy couple of weeks. This week I would like to continue discussing some characteristics of a Godly man, as I’m sure you ascertained by the title.
Paul, having given Titus instruction concerning the content of his teaching/speaking, turns to the actual content that Titus was to share with his congregation. The first thing that Paul tells Titus is that older men, in order to be Godly in their character, are to be temperate. Although this is initially directed at “older men” it is to be reiterated in verses 6-8 in reference to young men.
What does it mean to be temperate? The Greek word carries multiple meanings. First, it can mean “not mixed with wine,” to “abstain completely or extremely limited intake.” This is an acceptable interpretation, that older men (and the young) are to limit their intake of wine in order to maintain temperance and self-control. This is congruent with Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 5:18; “And do not get drunk with wine…” The second definition is “restrained, clear-headed.” This seems to be the more appropriate definition for the context since it would incorporate the first definition also since it is the more broad of the two. This too is in harmony with Paul’s teaching elsewhere, in particular Galatians 5:22-23 and the fruit of the Spirit, i.e. self-control. Therefore, the Godly man is to be one who is clear-headed, restrained, or one in whom the Holy Spirit is producing self-control.
How can this be exhibited in the life of the man of God? Obviously in a very narrow sense it is seen in the fact that the man of God will not be a slave to wine, a.k.a. alcohol of any type. That is the easy part believe it or not. In the broader sense (and I believe the sense that is meant in the context of Titus 2:1-2) temperance will be displayed in the life of a Godly man by his exercising restraint in his behavior, clarity of mind, and overall and on average, sound judgment. The good thing is that if you or I struggle in this area all we have to do is ask for help. James tells us in James 1:5 that, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” It is an amazing thing that God does for us. Not only does He reveal to us exactly how He wants for us to live, He also gives us the power to actually accomplish the task. To Him be all the glory!
So we find that another aspect of being a Godly man is found in being temperate. It may do us well to look at Romans 12:1-2 in order to get some more insight into the steps we need to take to reach that temperance. I’ll leave that to you for your individual study.
I pray this helps.