Small Talk

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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“This is some weather we’ve been having.”  While there is nothing wrong with the “small talk” about trivial things that occupies much of our interaction, based on the Book of Titus, the Apostle Paul would almost certainly encourage us to cultivate conversations about bigger and more important things.

Paul told Titus to “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (2:1).  In other words, Paul wanted this co-worker to consciously talk about meaningful things that would ground the saints in truths for today and encourage them to live for the Lord.  Paul instructed the “aged men” to act like men of real spiritual maturity (2:2).  That meant to purposely serve as examples to follow in godliness.  Paul specifies areas of conduct such as being serious-minded, sound in doctrine, loving, and patient; but the context seems to imply he also wanted their discussions to be weighted with spiritual content.

Paul likewise urges the “aged women” to pay careful attention to sound, godly behaviour that “becometh holiness” (2:3).  But he also tells them to be teachers, or to talk to young women about proper, godly living within their home and marriage.  Paul instructs Titus to speak to the “young men” about the importance of being consistently serious-minded about living for the Lord, so that they serve as an example or “a pattern of good works: [and] in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, and sincerity” (2:6-7).

Paul continues by telling Titus to constantly remind all saints to be very careful to be “ready to every good work” and to “be careful to maintain good works” (3:1; 3:8).  It is noteworthy that Paul also tells Titus, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let no man despise thee” (2:15).  Here we see an anticipation that some would prefer “small talk” and not appreciate serious discussions about spiritual matters, but as a servant of Christ, Titus was encouraged to keep on talking about important things, no matter how others responded.

As we think about these instructions to Titus, we should remember to apply them to our own daily walk.  We too need to move beyond just “small talk” with other saints and cultivate discussions that will encourage true, godly living and doctrine.  When we do, our own walk can become a walk with more purpose and meaning, and we can have a positive spiritual impact on others that will be a cause of rejoicing in eternity.


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