You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Titus 2:1 (NIV).
If you think about it, this is the job of every teacher, every parent, every mentor. If you read the four Gospels closely, you’ll find that Jesus is referred to as “rabbi” – meaning ‘teacher’ – more than any other title. Teachers are supposed to teach what is correct, what is good. They’re supposed to teach sound things that will be needed or useful in life.
Yet we aren’t Jesus so sometimes that gets off track. Sometimes, in the course of teaching, we teach other things, things that aren’t necessary or useful. You know: like algebra. Just kidding: I’m sure algebra is useful but I don’t specifically know how, at least not in actual mathematics. Good, well-meaning, intelligent people teach algebra and other un-useful things, and sometimes that runs contrary to what matters most.
Paul spends part of Titus, chapter one denouncing people who are teaching unsound doctrine, namely that there are things we must do to be acceptable to God; that there are things we have to do to earn our salvation. It was ecclesiastically and practically wrong in the early Church, and it’s wrong still today. Doing things to please God so He will love us is contrary to His nature. He loves us because He’s all love, because of His Son. Adding to that mocks Him.
That’s especially important for we believers. It’s especially difficult in our age of social media, divisive politics, and 24/7 global reach. Christians have been purified by the atoning death of Jesus; nothing more, nothing less. That’s hot iron on a sinful wound to people who don’t want to hear it. Those people set up rules around what you can and can’t say, all to shut you down. And when we slip up and are human again? “WHY YOU DIRTY HYPOCRITE! I TOLD YOU THIS JESUS THING WAS A WASTE!”
Baby and the bathwater both on the way out. No walking the walk and talking the talk together.
The cure? The response? Go back to Jesus; sound teaching to sound doctrine. Love God with all your heart, then love our fellow man. Jesus loves you and forgives you all your sins. Come as you are to Him any time to receive His love so that you may be healed and reach others. The Ten Commandments are a mirror to point us to God. Sin is sin but love is more powerful. Jesus is God in the Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit. Those fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5? We get to live them out in a skeptical world to better walk and talk the sound teaching of sound doctrine of God’s holy call. We’re all teachers now.
For further reading: 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Titus 2:2
Rabbi Jesus, forgive me my sins and help me to change my sinful ways. Teach me to better love my fellow man, and to better share the gifts of Your love and Spirit.