A Life in Balance

Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded. (Titus 2:6)

As Paul told Titus how to guide and encourage different groups of people in the church, he eventually came to the young men. In speaking of what Titus should say to the young men, he started with the word “likewise.”

balanced life

Likewise is a linking word. It shows that what the young men need to learn isn’t all that different from what the younger women, the older women, and the older men need to learn. We may need a slightly different emphasis depending on our station in life, but the essential message of godly living is the same.

Yet, there was specific instruction to direct to the young men: that they be sober-minded. This was a quality that the older men were also to have (see Titus 2:2), but this quality had a special importance for young Christian men.

In English, we usually use the word “sober” to mean “not intoxicated,” either by alcohol or drugs. The ancient Greek word that is translated here has a deeper significance. According to William Barclay, “The word is sophron, and it describes the man with the mind which has everything under control… strength of mind which has learned to govern every instinct and passion until each has its proper place and no more.”

I like the way that the Living Bible translates the phrase, “exhort the young men to be sober-minded.” It says, urge the young men to behave carefully, taking life seriously. This was the only command Titus was told to emphasize to the young men, but it is sometimes a difficult one for them to live. Young Christian men have a special calling to not live an out-of-balance life, but one that take seriously both this life and eternity.

The sober-minded man or woman can certainly laugh and have fun in life, but at the same time they know that there is more to life than having a good time. They know the place for fun, and they know the place for serious work. They know the danger of making everything a joke or making everything serious. Sometimes we say, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” For the sober-minded man or woman, they know and live that wisdom.

Is God speaking to you about some way your life is out of balance? Ask God for the wisdom to pursue and live a sober-minded life.

Click here for David’s commentary on Titus 2

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