Dear Titus, legitimate son in the faith: Receive everything God our Father and Jesus our Savior give you!
I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions.
As you select them, ask, "Is this man well-thought-of? Are his children believers? Do they respect him and stay out of trouble?"
It's important that a church leader, responsible for the affairs in God's house, be looked up to - not pushy, not short-tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money-hungry.
He must welcome people, be helpful, wise, fair, reverent, have a good grip on himself,
and have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it.
For there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk. Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst.
They've got to be shut up. They're disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck.
One of their own prophets said it best: The Cretans are liars from the womb, barking dogs, lazy bellies.
He certainly spoke the truth. Get on them right away. Stop that diseased talk of Jewish make-believe and made-up rules
so they can recover a robust faith.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)