v 15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.
Titus served God in Crete (1:5) and Cretans had a poor reputation if 1:12 is anything to go by.’ Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.” ‘ Hence Titus is reminded of his duty to instruct and correct people. He should not, Paul suggests, allow poor behaviour to pass muster. Unholy behaviour would bring disrepute on the congregation and dishonour to the name of Jesus. That still applies, so the most likely condemnation of Christians who say one thing and then live differently is ‘They are a load of hypocrites.’ The Pastor/leader Titus has a duty to correct that impression, and to do so fairly forcibly so that people do not ignore him. What a job Titus had on his hands!
Now, as a Headteacher, I had to deal with teachers who let the school and themselves down. That was an understandable professional obligation, and to have neglected it would have been a dereliction of duty. I’m not sure how a Pastor might have to deal with unholy living tolerated in the Christian community. But it does happen, and for the good of all a Pastor needs immense wisdom and tact. Being a Church Leader is not just a matter of preaching and the rest is plain sailing!
Pray for those who are Church Leaders, lest they become over-critical of the behaviour of believers with L-plates, and yet deal firmly with any on-going failures through persistent unholy living.