Mar 06, 2014
One of the things I like best about today’s crazy world is the ability to say yes to competing, opposite ideas.
One of those sets of competing ideas is the labels we use in our relationships. Am I your “brother” or your boss, are you my “sister” or my superior? “Yes,” according to Paul, is a legitimate answer.
In the opening of his letter to Titus, Paul calls Titus his “true child in this faith we share.” In one phrase, he identifies both his elder/boss/parent status and his peer/brother/equal relationship - it is a faith they share, and share in equally, but it is also a faith Paul had a part in passing on to Titus.
Keeping both ideas in mind is helpful. There are times in life when it is my responsibility and privilege to act as an elder and teacher for people: there are things I know, access I have and authority I can exercise to serve people (this applies to all of life, not just in Bible studies!) Likewise, there are times when I need others to lead and teach me. (And sometimes, this teaching and leading comes from the same people I have lead or taught.) In both cases, it is important to remember that we are peers at heart and that we all have much to learn.
To deny either part of these opposite ideas - to deny that I have more experience/authority/opportunity or to deny that I am still the same as others at heart and before God - does damage.