If I had to pick a theme for Titus chapter two, it would be “self-control.” The word occurs four times and is commanded of all Christians young and old.
What does he mean by “self-control?” I know it when I see it, but it’s hard to define without saying: “well, it means, ‘control yourself.’”
In modern language, “self-controlled” is the opposite of “impulsive,” that quality of character that causes us to speak when we should be silent, say things that should be said in the wrong way, make decisions without adequate thought, jump when we’d be better off sitting.
Self-control requires a degree of introspection. It also requires sought after counsel from our friends and a willingness to receive honesty on their part that we may find painful. Self-control is a virtue. Impulsiveness seldom so.
Why spend valuable time reviewing and examining our lives for character flaws like this? Because these are the kings of flaws that keep us from being like Jesus. There’s more to discipleship than trying to be like Jesus. We must also examine our lives to see what keeps us from being like him, and what about our lives keeps him from being attractive to others.