3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

If you’ve not yet experienced it, you soon will—that moment in which you unexpectedly realize that your body is transforming with age. One of the most powerful ways this occurs is by comparing yourself to an image taken a mere 10 years ago. Do this, and you’ll recognize all sorts of change.

Physical changes—things like hairstyles and fashions—are obvious. Likewise, Christians undergo change, which may not always be as obvious externally as a result of their salvation. Our goal is to make sure that change is obvious to those around us. In his letter to Titus, Paul urged the Christians in Crete to look at the change in their lives since they became Christians and to demonstrate that change through their good works.

A common misconception of the Christian life is that soon after one begins following Jesus, that person gives less attention to his or her sinful nature and more attention to his or her practices of personal holiness. This is only partly true. As we grow in our relationship with God, we not only become more aware of God’s holiness and our need to live holy lives, but we also become more aware of our sinful state. The effect is that we grow in our gratitude for the grace God has shown us in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

• Why is it important to remember the truth of this verse when seeking to minister to others who have rejected the truth about God and His authority in their lives?

• How might forgetting this truth lead us to further sin in the future?

• Pray and ask for a fresh remembrance that you have been one that has rejected the truth about God. Thank God for showing you grace and forgiveness. Ask Him to use you to tell others about this grace and forgiveness that is available to them.