For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. Titus 1:10

The Message Bible translates this verse, “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.”

It’s interesting to note that Jesus also had his harshest words for those who “were brought up religious,” that is the Pharisees (Matthew 23). He reasoned with them, pleaded with them and shouted at them but it made little difference. Jesus said to them, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40).

Those of us who have lived for a long time in a Christian environment can easily slip into the trap of becoming “mere talkers.” We know all the Christian jargon and give the impression of being spiritual. I read this recently, “Christian parents all too often provide an atmosphere of inauthenticity and legalism which, among other things, results in a failure to align saying and doing. Children see this incongruity and because of it end up rejecting the faith that it is supposedly based on.”

Our children are quick to pick up the difference between what we say and what we do. They learn by osmosis what’s important to us because they are always watching us, even if they don’t listen! Knowing this requires us to be more honest and more authentic not only with others but also with ourselves. Am I just going through the motions of Christian faith or am I committed to changing and becoming more like Jesus?

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