10 Many people refuse to obey God. All they do is talk about things that mean nothing. They try to fool others. No one does these things more than the circumcision group. 11 They must be stopped. They are making trouble for entire families. They do this by teaching things they shouldn’t. They do these things to cheat people. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has a saying. He says, “People from Crete are always liars. They are evil beasts. They don’t want to work. They live only to eat.” 13 This saying is true. So give a strong warning to people who refuse to obey God. Then they will understand the faith correctly. 14 Then they will pay no attention to Jewish stories that aren’t true. They won’t listen to the mere human commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To people who are pure, all things are pure. But to those who have twisted minds and don’t believe, nothing is pure. In fact, their minds and their sense of what is right and wrong are twisted. 16 They claim to know God. But their actions show they don’t know him. They are hated by God. They refuse to obey him. They aren’t fit to do anything good.
Verse 16 is a hard-hitting verse, “They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works.” It is easy to talk about God and even to talk like someone who follows God… but it is our actions that truly reveal where our loyalty lies.
Am I denying God through my works? Am I saying one thing, and doing another? Do I sing of God’s power and might, and then try to do everything in my own strength? Do I talk of God’s grace and mercy, and then exhaust myself trying to be perfect so as to please God? Where are my actions displaying my disbelief?
God, please help me to see where there is a gap between my words and my actions. Help me to identify where I am denying you by my works, and help me to imagine what it could look like to truly know you. Show me how to step into that imagined possibility, such that it becomes my reality. Amen.
Written by Bethany Waugh