“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance” – Titus 2:1-2
Continuing in our observations concerning the character of a godly man Paul tells Titus that the older men are to be “dignified”. What does it mean to be dignified? As I recently taught our men at church the Greek word, semnos, which is defined as “worthy of respect” or worthy of honor. It would then mean that a godly man would be one whose behavior would show that he is worthy of respect. The same word is used of the one who would be deacon as seen in 1 Timothy 3:8 where Paul said, “Deacons likewise must be men of dignity.” It may not be too much of a stretch to say that any Christian man should be able to be a deacon because of his personal behavior.
Again, the point of learning is so that what is learned is put into action in the life of the learner. So how is this dignity seen in the life of the believer? When the man of God reflects the character of Christ he is acting in a dignified manner. Hebrews 1:3 states that “(Christ) is the radiance of (God the Father’s) glory and the exact representation of His nature,” meaning that in seeing Christ man has seen God in the flesh. When the godly man acts in a dignified manner, a manner worthy of honor, he is reflecting the character of Christ and is also reflecting who he is in Christ. How is the character of Christ displayed in the life of the godly man? Paul tells us in Philippians 2:5-7, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Jesus Christ existed side-by-side with God the Father in eternity past being in every way equal to the Father. Yet He did not cling to His exalted position selfishly, but instead humbled Himself to come to earth as a baby in a manger to be rejected and killed by those He created and came to save. That is dignified behavior and worthy of honor. The godly man takes upon himself the same selfless attitude.
This is easy to speak about but difficult to achieve in the battle between the things that we desire to do and what we actually do (Rom. 7:15-20), the battle with the world, and the battle against the devil. The most basic step in taking upon ourselves the mind of Christ is found in Romans 12:1-2 and in particular verse 2 where Paul says, “and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is through our minds being renewed that the mind of Christ is being formed in us. The Greek word translated as “renewed” means “to make new, renewal,” “with the implication of becoming superior” (Louw-Nida). Many implications come to mind from this, but time does not allow for an extensive study. The point is that our minds must change to reflect the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16b) in order for the character of Christ to be reflected in the life of the godly man. And the basis for that renewed mind is found in instruction from the word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Thus we see that another aspect of being a godly man is that he must be dignified, or worthy of honor. For the most part this has been lost in our society and in the church. It’s time that it be rediscovered.
Now, go and be dignified in your behavior.
I pray this helps you.