One of the traits of normalcy in human beings is to have companions. There are diverse reasons for having good, trusted helpers and companions. We can be a success or failure dependent upon the kind of travelers with which we choose to walk. As a fellow laborer of Paul, we think young Titus must have been just about perfect. When Paul went to Jerusalem to consider the question of circumcision, he took Titus with him. One of the outstanding qualities in this young man was his dependability. Paul knew he could leave Titus to do a job and things would be accomplished in the right order (Tit. 1:5).
How wonderful to be of such genuine and untarnished character and to merit the trust of a man such as Paul. If people can have no confidence in our word, work, and performance, then the world is not profited by our presence in it. There were many things in Crete that needed to be finished. Paul uses the expression ta leiponta, which refers to some things that were left undone and also to some things that survive. The church needs stouthearted and trustworthy men with steel in their spine. Men are needed who are not afraid to tackle the disorderly array both in and out of the church. The purely positive approach can never set things right in a world that is woefully wrong. The disposition to sing a few lullabies and to whisper a few sweet nothings is one of the reasons for the lack of soundness in the church, and the only remedy is to practice the preachments of Paul when he said, “Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (1:13).
This is the inspired remedy for “slow bellies” in any age (1:12). Titus was instructed by Paul to use “sound speech, that cannot be condemned” (2:8). With all the piping and blowing of sounds which are uncertain, how marvelous it is to hear that doctrine which is sound. When the wrong becomes so strong, a weak and timid approach will not suffice; hence Paul wrote, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (2:15).
There is that area which is unprofitable, and also there is that which is good and profitable (3:8–9). There is that with which we need to be involved, and there is that which we must avoid (2:11–12) A careful study of the three chapters which comprise Paul’s letter to Titus will demonstrate plainly that there is both positive and negative teaching which must be done. Those people who can only endure the positive approach will find the material in Titus extremely dull and of little value. We need to be looking for young men who can be trusted.
We need young preachers who have common sense sufficiently to help with the solutions rather than creating the problems. Titus refused to take advantage of the Corinthians (2 Cor. 12:18). He was the kind of young man who could complete an assignment (8:6). His work took him to Dalmatia, Corinth, Crete, and other places. Titus was the right man, for the right job, at the right place.