“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work” (Tit. 3:1). The adjective “ready” (hetoimos) means “prepared.” (Gingrich) Readiness is preparedness. Paul used the same word in 2 Cor. 9:5, “So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you . . . for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready [hetoimos] as a willing gift.” (emphasis added) The church in Jerusalem was suffering financially and economically. Paul asked the Corinthian church to help. He wanted them to “prepare” the gift as a willing gift.
Do you prepare your tithes and offerings for Sunday? Or do you give according to whatever amount is left in your wallet? God’s will is to prepare our offering as a willing offering.
Paul is saying, “Submit yourselves to the authorities. Be prepared for every good work.” He used the same format in Rom. 13. In v. 1, he wrote, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” Then in v. 3, he added, “Then do what is good.” Paul cites the theme of doing of good works in the context of submission to government. Doing good works for the government is a good thing.
Years ago, a city government department held a meeting in the hotel which was next door to our company office. (That is where your taxes go—to their meetings in expensive hotels.) I heard a car engine running for over an hour. After an hour, I went out to check. I saw the driver sleeping inside the coaster, enjoying the air-con, using fuel paid by the city government.
Incensed, I walked over to the hotel and looked for a government official. Somebody met me outside the meeting room. I asked, “Are you the head of this meeting?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Can I report an incident? Your coaster outside has been running for over an hour, causing noise and pollution. Your driver is sleeping inside. Can you come down and ask him to turn off the engine? If you don’t stop it, I will report it to the office of the mayor.”
To his credit, he came down immediately, knocked on the window, and told the driver to turn off the engine.
If a lowly government driver can waste government money like that, how much more can government officials with large government funds?
What good work have you done to help your government? John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” We always complain about the government. But what have we done to help our government? One is passing the emission tests to cut pollution in our country. Another is segregating your garbage in waste cans. Another is obeying traffic rules.
Be ready to do good works. That is how we impact our world for Christ.