Key Verse: Titus 3:14 “And let our people also learn to maintain good works to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.”
The verb “learn” caught my attention as I read the key verse. The Greek word in the text is “manthano”, which in this application means “to learn by use and practice, to acquire the habit of, to be accustomed to.” What is it Paul wants “our people” to learn? He wants them to learn to “maintain good works”. Every activity undertaken for Christ’s sake is to be maintained, but this consistency of action is something that doesn’t just happen. It has to be learned; it must become a habit.
How is this to be learned? By “use and practice”; that is, it’s learned by doing. So much in life is learned this way. There is no question that a lot of “trial and error”, wastage of time and energy, can be avoided by training and education. Once the theoretical is past, however the practical becomes the challenge. All of us know a teacher, pastor, or doctor who got straight “A’s” in school but can’t practise effectively. The “doing” is where the rubber meets the road.
So we learn by doing. We don’t voluntarily disqualify ourselves with reasonable excuses — we simply do what needs to be done. If someone has a need, we meet it. If someone needs help, we do our best to assist. We become “doers of the Word, not hearers only” (Jas.1:22).
I like Paul’s practical bent here. He says we’re to “do good” in terms of providing the “daily necessities” (NIV) of those whose need crosses our path, and we are to see this good work as an outworking of our Christian productivity. We are to bear fruit.