Adorn the Doctrine
The great philosopher Frances Bacon said the best part of beauty is that which cannot be expressed. We must be careful that while we stand firm in what we believe, we do not exclude the beauty that the truth of God is supposed to bring into our lives. In a world that seems to trivialize the truth, we can be caught in the trap of being a bit too hard and a bit too rigid. The world may be a difficult place at times but dedication to the truth resolves many conflicts. We must see how the truth of God and the beauty it establishes do not conflict.
Done Rightly; Done Beautifully
The question is not what reality you choose, it is what you choose to do with reality. So it is with the doctrine of God; it is set and there is nothing that can change it, so then it becomes a matter of what we choose to do with that very real doctrine. Many have become afraid of the word “doctrine” but the Bible tells us that we are to adorn the doctrine by the way we live (Titus 2:10).
Walking a Rough Road Well
Even a slave was to live the doctrine of Christ in such a way that others should like to be like him or her because they were so impressed with the comeliness of their character and creed. We must never allow our circumstances to interfere with our development as a person. You cannot dream yourself into a character of beauty that is still true to the doctrine of Christ; you must hammer and forge yourself such a character.
Adornment & Accomplishment
Discovery of a proper doctrine results in a quiet confidence about its current action, and future direction. That confidence means that there are no points to make. Set out to make your point with someone and you will likely leave them hurt and uninterested in the truth you have to share. Every man has three characters — that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has. Adorning the doctrine requires that those three factors come into alignment.
Mold & Impress
Let us be considerate to an extreme even in the most common things. To adorn the doctrine of Christ and to get anything important accomplished, we’re going to have to forgive people much. The doctrine of Christ is the answer and it is our life, but it is not so for everyone, not even everyone claiming to be a believer, but forgiveness keeps us moving; it keeps us garnishing the doctrine, not changing it, but adorning it with our own dedication to it.
We need to be much more apt to enable people with what we know, rather than to disable them, even though we may make our point. Adorning the doctrine means really seeing the need of the other person and providing for that need by a demonstration of the doctrine of grace, the doctrine of hope, the doctrine of reconciliation and the doctrine of forgiveness.
Tools with Which to Work (Titus 2:11)
The verses following Titus 2:10 describe what it means to adorn the doctrine of Christ (in all things). Adorning the doctrine never means compromising the doctrine (v.12). The truth then becomes something about which we are so positive, it flows from us (v.13). We adorn the doctrine by the changes enacted, by the identity we assume and by the things in which we are involved (v.14). Knowing the doctrine means that we have authority in it and understand the timing of how we encourage and how we correct (v.15). When we are mistreated or unappreciated we refuse to brood over it; we just get on with things (v.15b).
It may be that such adornment is more valued by God than anything else (I Peter 3:4). That which is quiet, confident and sure is of great price to Him.
Dr. M. Hildon Guy is President of the University of Christian Studies and Seminary in Eagle River, Alaska. He serves as a board member for Love INC of Eagle River.