Young men are not all alike. However, they tend to be rough, jokesters, proud, selfish, thoughtless, rash, head-strong and foolish. Do any of those characteristics describe someone you know? We can assume that when the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus, as recorded in the Bible, that they were young men. Here is the instruction that Paul gave to Titus. Titus 2:6-8 “Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” Whether or not you are a young man, these characteristics should be demonstrated by all Christians.
“Sober-minded.” This does not mean that you cannot enjoy life and at times laugh and have fun. But your life should be free from excesses, irregularities, and silliness. Salvation is serious because your life and the lives of others are at stake. Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Soberness and seriousness are taught by the apostles. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” 1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Judgement day is coming. 1 Peter 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.”
“A pattern of good works.” Each one of us is an example or pattern for others. People watch you to see what kind of life you live, how you react to problems or insults from others, how you demonstrate love for your fellow man, if you are seeking to do good to those around you, if you are you spiritually minded or carnally minded, and many other things that you do in your life. All Christians and especially young men should be a pattern of good works. The Apostle Paul understood that he was an example to others. Philippians 3:17-19 “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things.” Here is Paul’s instruction to Timothy. 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Since others are watching, be a pattern of good works.
“In doctrine showing integrity.” That means that you firmly and consistently adhere to the teachings of Christ in your life. You are incapable of being bribed or morally corrupted. You are upright. You practice what you preach. Romans 2:21-24 “You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ as it is written.” Apparently, some of the Jews that the apostle Paul was writing to in Rome did not have integrity; they taught one thing but practiced something different. 1 Timothy 4:16 “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
“Reverence.” This means to be serious, respectful and have the proper awe and fear for God and others in authority. Peter taught in 1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” You know your place in life and submit to the proper authorities. “Incorruptibility.” This is similar to the integrity discussed above and means to demonstrate sincerity and genuineness in your Christian life.
“Sound speech that cannot be condemned.” Young men of the world often use profanity, cursing swearing, and vulgar language. As a Christian, it is a temptation to use the unwholesome words and expressions that you hear all around you. Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” A Christian should use healthy, wholesome speech that no one can fault.
The following exhortation is given in Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity.”
In summary, young Christian men should be sober-minded, in all things showing themselves to be a pattern of good works, showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, and sound speech that cannot be condemned. When they live that way, their opponents may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of them.