Titus Email September 2018



Volume 12, Number 9– SEPTEMBER, 2018


Greetings.  Everything in life can be a teaching tool for us if we are teachable. Recently I had knee surgery due to a sports’ injury many years ago.  During the months prior to surgery, I dealt with chronic pain.  I knew that eventually my pain would subside but my mind was drawn to people who have to live in constant pain or persecution and never know if the pain or persecution will end on this side of heaven.  What I went through caused me to develop a little more compassion and empathy for people, especially those who live with daily pain or persecution.   Mike



Results of having an idol of control in your leadership include an underdeveloped ministry or organization because you cannot develop others due to your adversity to control.  Ministry does not reach its fullest potential. One of the saddest results is what God involved you to build and develop, dies when you are not in the picture anymore or you stifle growth because you have to be in charge!  If you can accomplish the ministry entrusted to you by yourself, or have little minions (look up that term if you do not know what it is) working for you, then you do not have a God-sized vision.

Why do we not train and develop?  Is it really a time factor or more of the idea that I can do it myself?  You say to yourself, “I know best”.  That is an attitude issue.  It is true that with our own personality, we will not get along with certain others as well as some people we work splendidly with.  God gave each of us our personality.  We need to realize that and work beyond the people we are most comfortable with.  That takes developing our people skills and stretching us out of your comfort zones we place around ourselves.  (This is a whole additional series of potential Titus Emails.)

Any knowledge and wisdom we have, we need to give it away.  Do you hold the key to all universal issues and if you share, you will lose your position?  Realize that we can learn something from everyone.  It may not be something that turns your life around or ends world hunger, but you have knowledge and wisdom I need to develop myself.

You may have insight that provides necessary wisdom for someone to develop in their journey with the Lord.  We need each other and together we become stronger and more united for Jesus.  Let us drop our selfishness and live out Philippians 2:3-5.  Jesus held nothing back.  He gave us everything because He loved us.  Maybe we do not love people the way Jesus has instructed us to.

So I have to ask myself what am I really afraid of when it comes to dealing with being in control.  Am I afraid of the big picture, that somehow by helping to sincerely developing others, I may feel insignificant in the Kingdom? People struggle with this all the time, that if I help someone develop to be the person God desires for them to be in the Body, that person will go further than me and perhaps be better known. 

It may come down to the fact that you honestly do not like people and have no intentions of ever following others.  Just because some of us are pastors, directors or managers in life does not automatically indicate you enjoy people and people enjoy being around you.  Even a task-oriented person like me has truly come to enjoy people. I did not start out that way.  As I mature in my faith, I value relationships with others more and more, and consider building relationships with and helping developing people is my most important responsibility in ministry.  You are valuable in my eyes.

Pride says that I have to be in control and no one else.  Nothing is going to happen if you are in control because I am the center of the universe.  That simply is the idol of pride and eventually you are going to get knocked down and miss out on all the blessings God intended for you to enjoy!  Don’t be that way.



            Relationships are important to us because we have been created by God to be social beings.  Being a Christian means we have a personal relationship with the God of the Universe, the One who physically died on a cross for each of us so that we could be offered the free gift of forgiveness of our sins, our wrongdoings and spend forever together with Jesus. 

            If someone makes a difference in your life, the likelihood is you have some level of relationship with that person.  All of us have at least a few friends.  Some of us have a lot of friends.  For the most part, we want to experience life with others.  People struggle with peer pressure because hardly anyone of us wants to be shunned or ignored by others. We want to fit in, be part of a family, whether biological or social. 

            Paul offered some great guidance on how to develop and maintain healthy relationships with others when he penned Colossians 3:12-17.   He is talking to Christians and these truths are right for any kind of relationship we have or will someday have.  He uses the idea of putting on clothing (“cloth yourself) with the qualities that are shared in this passage.  This gives the idea that the qualities needed to have great relationships do not come naturally.

            We are instructed to put on compassion in our relationships.  Compassion is the concept that you are moved with concern and desiring to help your friend out when they are struggling with issues and pain that comes in life.  You hurt when they hurt and rejoice when they are rejoicing.  A good friend sticks by the side of another who is going through tough things in life.  Add to that is the goal to be kind, gentle and patient with others.  Treat people with respect and do not be rude or have any kind of evil intent in your thinking towards them.

            To be humble and gentle with someone is like how a mother bird cares for her young.  She will protect her young when predators attempt to attach and when the weather elements are poor, she puts her wings over the little birds for warm and dryness. If you are humble toward someone, you are actually submitting yourself to that person. You are building up that person, making the needs of another person as important, if not more important than yours.  You do not use a person for your own gain or benefit and then get rid of them when what you need is used up.

            No one is perfect.  We all have issues and things that annoy others.  Bearing with others means you are willing to stick with a person through their imperfections and at the same time, in loving and building up ways, try to help develop the person to be more like Jesus.  If you do this humbly, that is key.  This means too when you have been wronged, you are willing to let go of any grudges and bitterness by forgiving the person. We want to be forgiven; let us extend that grace to others. 

            More relationships are destroyed because of an unforgiving person.  If you have or are in an abusive situation, this does not mean you stay in that situation.  You need to get away for your safety.  Most relationships do not get to that volatile level.  We are dealing with normal life situations.  If you are holding grudges, the probability it is hurting you worse than the other person and eating away at you.

            The goal is to love people like Jesus does.  That is when His peace will reside in your heart.  The way we treat people either draws or repels them to Jesus through our actions.  Living out what Paul wrote in Colossians 3 will draw.