In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

Regardless of our age or stage of life, we are called to live as an example of Christlikeness to those around us. Both in our words and our way of life, believers should be above reproach. Paul urged Titus—a young believer himself—to make sure his words and his ways served as an example to others. But this encouragement was not that Titus would honor Christ in appearance only.

The kind of life Paul urged Titus (and us) toward not only serves to point others to Christ, but to put our adversaries to shame. Many in this life will oppose Christ, and as a result, they will oppose His followers. But when we take Paul’s words to heart, when we reflect Christ in word and deed, our opposers won’t have much ammunition to aim in our direction.

This is where it is crucial that our actions match our words. Paul wanted to make sure Titus’s doctrine was sound, but that it also came from a place of genuine obedience to Christ. We live in a time where we can say whatever we want, whenever we want. Social media can project our voices quickly and broadly. But if our words and actions don’t match, then we are opening the door for attack. We make ourselves an easy target. Our words matter and our works matter. Both should point to Christ in all things, otherwise we will be put to shame instead of our enemies.

● Do your words and actions match up in all of your spheres—work, home, relationships, church, and so on? Or are you divided in word and deed depending on who you are around at the time?

● What might the Lord be challenging you to repent of so you can better reflect Christ to the people around you?

● Ask the Lord to show you the areas in which your words and ways are disconnected. Ask Him to reveal areas where you fall prey to the ways of the world—whether in your speech or your actions.