Investing My Life in Others in a Detached World
As we open to Titus 2:4 look at the first three words: “that they admonish”. This is the final quality God desires to see in every older woman of grace, which describes their lifestyle of admonishing, encouraging, or calling others to realize what God has clearly stated they are supposed to do.
This quality is God’s call for women of grace to wise living, encouraging counsel, discreet or focused living, and restraining life choices. In the English-speaking world, when we see someone doing something totally unprofitable, that shows they are oblivious to something far greater they should be doing there is an expression that goes something like: ‘you are just arranging deck chairs on the sinking Titanic’.
That is an almost 100-year old expression for ‘refocusing their attention’, or pointing out that there is something far greater they should be doing.
Arranging Deck Chairs On the Sinking Titanic
I have always looked a little differently at the Titanic than others may, because of my grandmother’s experience. On April 10, 1912 as the greatest, fastest, largest, and most expensive ship in the entire world docked at Southampton, my grandmother looked wistfully at its grandeur.
She held a lowest deck, third-class ticket in her hand to the maiden voyage of the Titanic, but as she stood in line at the White Star Lines office, she had to get a refund. Her passport papers from the embassy had gone through, new life in America was just a walk up the gangway; but a clerk had failed to sign and stamp one area of the paperwork; and she was denied boarding on the mighty ocean liner.
As the blast of the Titanic’s departure horn sounded, my grandmother was handed tickets for another ship, the TSS Rotterdam, to sail third-class on another day, so she could go back after the weekend and get her paper work signed.
We all know the story of what happened just 4 days later as the Titanic plummeted to its watery grave two miles beneath the icy waters of the North Atlantic. For me, I have always been amazed at God’s Providence in that clerk’s omission without which my mother would never has been born in 1920, nor me in 1956, nor any of our 8 children since 1985.
If you were on that sinking Titanic 98 years ago, and saw one of your close friends oblivious to the disaster soon to swallow them, busily rearranging and straightening the deck chairs. Just think of how clearly you would feel your responsibility to them.
Wouldn’t you want to look that person in the eyes and say, “What you are doing is wonderful and helpful; but, what you don’t understand is that you are investing all your efforts on a sinking ship that will be plunging soon into the depths. Focus on what you are supposed to be doing here: getting yourself and as many people as will respond, off this doomed ship!”
That would be an example of calling the deck-chair-arranger to their senses.
That is exactly what Titus 2:4 calls women of grace to be doing with fellow-believers.
We have been saved from doom; and the One who saved us left us here to live a life that us useful to Him. To be useful we have to get in step with the plan He left us in His Word. We were left on earth to please God by following the clearly described lifestyle He left for us to follow; and He commanded us to spend our live investing in the lives of people showing them how to also be Christ's disciples like we are.
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