by Rick Warren — May 8, 2023
From The Keys to a Blessed Life
“Believers shouldn’t curse anyone or be quarrelsome, but they should be gentle and show courtesy to everyone.”
Titus 3:2 (GW)
Your gentleness is a witness to unbelievers. They’re watching you all the time to see if you are any different when you’re under stress. When you respond to pressure with gentleness, it’s an incredible testimony to the world.
The Bible says in Titus 3:2, “Believers shouldn’t curse anyone or be quarrelsome, but they should be gentle and show courtesy to everyone” (GW).
If you claim to be a follower of Jesus, you are not allowed to speak evil of anyone. You are not allowed to be quarrelsome. Instead, you must be gentle with and show courtesy to everyone. Does that mean even people of a different political party? Yes.
God gave me the gift of evangelism, so I spend most of my time speaking with people I totally disagree with. That’s because I believe you cannot win your enemies to Christ; you can only win your friends.
People aren’t going to trust Jesus until they trust you. People usually don’t ask me if the Bible is credible. They want to see that I am credible. Do I live with integrity? Am I gentle? Am I loving? Am I compassionate?
If people like what they see in you, they will listen to what you say.
Here’s the thing: If you obey Titus 3:2, you’re going to be criticized by other Christians. They’re going to say you’re compromising—I know this from experience. When I say I have friends who are Muslim, Jewish, or atheists, they say, “How could you do that?” And they accuse me of compromising.
Treating other people with respect does not mean you have to compromise what you believe. I have friends who don’t agree with me and friends who don’t believe what I believe—because there’s something more important to focus on: Do they know Jesus?
A great verse to live by is 1 Peter 3:15: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV).