As I continue to study Titus 2:3-5, I see that young women need to be trained how to be kind:
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:3-5).
The Greek word for kind in thses verses is agathos, and it means to do good for the benefit of others. You could substitute the word beneficial.
The NIV translates this Greek word as kind, and the KJV translates it as good. However, I like the word beneficial because it helps me see the action involved.
Sometimes I view kind as listening respectfully to someone, even if I disagree with her, without opening my mouth to correct her or try to influence her opinions. I don’t want her to think badly of me!
However, if I want to be beneficial to her, I need to help her correct her wrongs, in a loving way.
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season [when it’s popular and when it’s not]; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently” (Galatians 6:1).”
On the other hand, sometimes I view good as just being a good, moral person. I don’t always want to go beyond just “good” to seeking out how to help others.
If I want to be beneficial to others, I need to go beyond morality to laying down my life for them.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13).
In John’s third epistle, he describes someone who was not kind, good, or beneficial.
“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 1:9-10).
Note some thing about Diotrephes’ behavior:
- He loved to be first.
- He gossiped maliciously about others.
- He refused to show hospitality to the ministers of the gospel (see also 3 John 1:5-8).
- He exerted great pressure against others who were trying to show kindness.
I get it. Sometimes I think that life revolves around me. When pride clouds my vision, I can’t see the needs of others. People become a bother to me. I get frustrated with their needs, and I get tired of having to lay aside my agenda to care for them. I stop giving. I stop opening my home to them. I stop ministering. Even worse, I start to talk badly about them, just so that I will look better (or at least that’s what I think). It ends with bitter hatred creeping like poison into my heart, as I lash out in anger against them.
“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil (injurious to others) but what is good (beneficial). Anyone who does what is good (beneficial) is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).
Others. It’s what it’s all about!