Recently I came across a web site called, “Lies Moms Tell Their Kids To Get Them To Behave.” One mom was so tired of her kids misbehaving while shopping that she told them the store’s security cameras were actually Santa-cams that had a direct feed to the North Pole, and if they misbehaved, Santa would know.
Of course, Paul gives a different reason why children should obey their parents, saying,
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
This verse is positively sublime in its splendor and simplicity, for it supplies parents with the answer to the eternal question of “why?” You tell your son to do something, and he asks, “Why?” Instead of replying with the usual, “Because I said so,” next time try, “Because God’s Word says that obeying me is the right thing to do!” That’s also a much better reason to ask children to behave than to win the favor of some mythical North Pole elf!
But children are not the only ones whom God calls upon to behave. Paul told Titus,
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience” (Titus 2:1,2).
Did you notice that Paul didn’t just tell aged men how to behave, he told them why their behavior should honor the Savior? He pointed out that the things he mentions here are “the things which become sound doctrine.” That word “become” means to make something look good, and making sound doctrine look good is something that all Christians should aspire to do!
Of course, for aged men, some of these things can be pretty challenging. Take that last one, for example. In the Bible, the word “patience” is often associated with patiently waiting for the Lord to come, as it is in the first time the Bible mentions patience:
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way” (Psalm 37:7).
Now I know that the psalmist was talking about waiting patiently for the Lord’s coming at the end of the Tribulation to set up the kingdom of heaven on earth for the people of Israel. But the principle he expresses here holds true for us members of the Body of Christ, who are looking for the “blessed hope” of the Rapture (Tit. 2:13). Christians of all ages should wait patiently for the Lord to rapture us to Heaven, where we’ll enjoy all the blessings of the life to come, and not “fret” over the way that unsaved men seem to be prospering in this life. It’s easy to get impatient for the coming of the Lord if you spend your time looking at all the people in the world who are prospering in worldly things.
And being sound in this kind of patience is especially hard for aged Christian men, who have spent their entire lives watching unsaved men prosper, while they themselves gave a lot of money to the Lord’s work that could have prospered them had they kept it instead. Add to this the aches and pains of old age, and it is no wonder Paul tells aged men to be sound in patience as they wait for the coming of the Lord!
Do you know what will help you to stop fretting over the prosperity of unsaved men at any age? Paul gives us the secret when he wrote about being “strengthened with all might…unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col. 1:11), and then added,
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (v. 12).
Being thankful for the inheritance that lies before us in Heaven goes a long way in helping us look past the prosperity of others in this life. So thank God for your salvation, and then “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him!”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.