In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.Titus 2:7-8 NIV
In these two verses, Paul gives specific instructions to Titus, a co-worker of Paul’s who had been left in Crete, to help establish the church there. But the instruction he gives here is applicable to every believer. Demonstrate integrity in all of your actions and in all of your teaching. Give no valid excuse for our opponents to speak evil of us.
Paul starts by telling Titus to set ‘them’ an example in everything he does. The ‘them’ in this passage might be specifically directed to the young men of the previous verse. It might also be directed to all of those he has mentioned in verses 1-6 of this chapter. I think the larger group is more likely. Set an example for everyone within the body of believers.
Set an example first of all in your actions. Do what is good and right. It is hard to overestimate the importance of this step. While a good life alone will likely not be enough to lead others to the truth, without it, your words are empty and will have little effect.
Teaching with Integrity
And then, be careful about how you teach. Teach with integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech. Teaching the word of God is not something that should be undertaken lightly. Be careful what you teach and how you do it. All too many share God’s word in a way that does more harm than good.
Don’t dismiss this instruction because you do not consider yourself a teacher. It is just as applicable to those who are informally giving instruction as it is to those who are recognized as teachers. Parents giving instructions to their children, mature believers mentoring new believers, or just two believers sharing God’s word together. Whenever you are handling God’s word, do it with integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech.
Titus likely faced opposition from two dissimilar groups. The first would be others in the church of Crete who did not want to follow Titus’ leadership. Don’t give them any grounds for opposing you. The second group would be unbelievers who were opposed to the gospel. Setting a good example will make the gospel more appealing as well as weaken their grounds for opposition.
Be an Example
Whoever you are as a believer; regardless of your age, your time as a believer, or your position within the body, take Paul’s message to heart. Set an example for other believers as well as those outside the church. Be an example both in what you do and in what you say. Show integrity in your actions as well as your teaching. Let your life reflect well on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.