Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. (NLT)
Some years ago, a wide body jet crashed in the Florida Everglades. It had no mechanical faults, it had an experienced crew flying at night in good weather. It nevertheless spiralled into the swamp killing all on board. What went wrong?
Apparently one of the gauges on the instrument panel didn’t light up as it should have. The pilots couldn’t figure out what it signified. They switched on the auto pilot and started fiddling around with the gauge and checking if it was a faulty globe or something else. As they did so, they inadvertently disengaged the auto pilot. The aircraft started to lose height and descend gradually to the ground. The crew didn’t notice till too late. It crashed.
Their focus was on a small problem and this caused them to ignore the big problem: keeping the aircraft on level flight in the air. Preoccupation with the minor matter meant overlooking the major matter. The faulty gauge did need attention, but not at the expense of everything else.
And that may be what Paul is getting at as he writes to Titus. Getting bogged down with secondary things means we don’t focus on primary things. We have a big job to do in passing on the good news of Jesus in word and act. We can be distracted by expending our energies on internal debates, pedantic disputes, tribal warfare against those we reckon are not “true blue” Christians.
Some things do need to be debated, some issues need to be addressed. Little things do matter, but they don’t matter most. May our focus be on the life and death matter of our relationship with God through Jesus. Any other focus is flawed.