When the soul is unclean, it thinks all things unclean. Therefore scrupulous observances are no mark of purity, but it is the part of purity to be bold in all things.… What then is unclean? Sin, malice, covetousness, wickedness.1
As far as we are concerned, our consciences are all that matters. As far as you are concerned, our reputation among you ought not to be tarnished but influential for good. Mark what I’ve said, and make the distinction. There are two things, conscience and reputation; conscience for yourself, reputation for your neighbor. Those who, being clear in their consciences, neglect their reputations, are being cruel; especially if they find themselves in this position. The apostle writes about this to his disciple: “Showing yourself to all around you as an example of good works.”2
Therefore, O man, do not cease to recommend and to teach the things that are holy down to the last soul entrusted to you. And “present yourself as an example of good works.” Be especially careful not to love one and hate another. Show an equal attitude to all, lest the one whom you love God might hate, and the one whom you hate God might love.3
Know that you are a servant overwhelmed by very much obedience. You must not set yourself first, because you are called a son of God. Grace must be acknowledged, but nature not overlooked. Do not boast of yourself if you have served well, as you should have done. The sun obeys, the moon complies, and the angels serve.… Let us not require praise from ourselves nor prevent the judgment of God and anticipate the sentence of the Judge but reserve it for its own time and Judge.4
- HOMILIES ON TITUS 3. Gorday, P. (Ed.). (2000). Colossians, 1–2 Thessalonians, 1–2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (p. 295). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- Sermons 355.1. Gorday, P. (Ed.). (2000). Colossians, 1–2 Thessalonians, 1–2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (p. 296). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- THE TESTAMENT OF HORIESIOS 9. Gorday, P. (Ed.). (2000). Colossians, 1–2 Thessalonians, 1–2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (p. 296). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 8.31–32. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 267). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.