Tuesday, May 4, 2010

As Becomes Holiness

“that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers,”

Most of us know Titus 2 as the chapter where women are told what they should be as wives and mothers. But all of this starts with a hierarchy of sorts. First we are told what an aged woman (literally, an old woman) should look like and then that it is the older women’s responsibility to teach the younger how to become that older woman someday. Today we will start to take a closer look at what an aged woman of God should look like.

The first thing we are told is that they should “be in behavior as becomes holiness”. What that means is, they should have a position that suits sacred things or conduct themselves with reverent attitude. How many older women do you know who spend their time trying to be young or cool or hip in the eyes of the world? They spend time removing wrinkles and grey hair hoping for that person in the grocery store or at church to be shocked that they look so young. No one likes looking older; at least once you are past about 25. But it is a hundred times worse that no one wants to act their age. It just isn’t cool anymore to talk about the things of God. People are shocked by stories of yesteryear where families were not allowed to read anything but the Bible on Sundays and they were supposed to think about sacred things only. Now we go to church and as soon as the service is finished, we find any number of topics to discuss, 99% of them having nothing to do with sacred things. We think we have done our duty because we sat and listened to the pastor talk for 45 minutes. We do not believe in a lifestyle of Godly living. No longer do we read the Bible and pray together as families. No longer do we dwell on sacred things, on Sunday or any other day. Now, here is what I am not saying. It is not a sin to wear make-up or to dye your hair, or to talk about sports on Sunday. But why are we doing those things? Is it because we have done our duty and now we can have fun? Is it because we just can’t think of anything more to say about the Lord? We must evaluate our hearts and see just what is there. We should be more concerned with things that last, with things that are eternal, than the petty things we waste our time on.

The big question is what is so wrong in our minds about looking or behaving in a manner befitting our age and position. There should be a distinction in both manner and appearance of someone who is 50 and someone who is 20. Just as it is against nature for an older woman to look 30, so it is also unseemly for them to behave like 30. That is no excuse for a young woman to be silly or frivolous. But we do learn by example and there should be someone we can look to, to show us what a Godly woman looks and behaves like.

The next thing we see is that an older woman should not be a false accuser. There are two points that stood out to me here. One is something we all know. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. And he does a fine job without our help. As women of God, we should have no part in that. The definition of false accuser in the Word Study dictionary says, “One who falsely accuses and divides people without any reason.” We must be so very careful not to divide the body. Anything that causes a division of the true body of Christ is not the action of a true believer. This, however, brings me to my second point. If there is a problem, we supposed to deal with it. If there is a sin besetting us or someone else, we as believers are supposed to be divided from sin. Part of teaching is correction. You can’t be a good teacher if you don’t correct your student’s mistakes. But there is a proper way to do that. It must be done in kindness, in love, using the word to show where the error is. And most importantly it must be done in private, meaning that it is not done through gossip or backbiting. One of the other aspects of teaching is that there must be trust between the teacher and the student. Where there is gossip being spread by a teacher, there can be no trust. We must guard our words so carefully to keep from betraying each other.

So I would ask you, dear ladies, where are our hearts? Are there areas where we are not exhibiting what becomes holiness? Are there times we are falsely accusing others? These are things that shouldn’t be named as characteristics of a Godly woman, of any age. Why do we do the things we do? Should we be doing them? Or is there a way we could be redeeming our time to better serve the Lord, our families and the body of Christ? May God show us how we can better serve Him and may we see it blessing those around us by spurring them on to holiness.

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