READING: 1 Kings 8, Psalm 30, 1 Timothy 3
Over the years, I’ve read or heard more than one discussion/debate about how to interpret the varied qualifications of overseers/pastors and deacons in 1 Timothy 3. What does it mean to be “above reproach”? What qualifies as excessive drinking? Must a potential church leader’s children be always obedient and faithful? Does “the husband of one wife” mean that only married men should take on these roles? I know there are other debates, but I trust you get the point. Folks simply differ in their understandings of these texts.
What seems clear, though, is that (1) character matters, and (2) character is best proven over time. A new convert should not be an overseer, lest pride quickly grab him. Overseers must have a good reputation with outsiders, which implies enough “testing time” to develop such a reputation. Potential deacons, too, must be tested for their walk with God; they must prove themselves to be “worthy of respect” (1 Tim 3:8). Thus, a hasty decision to set apart a new overseer or deacon can quickly be problematic. A track record of faithful endurance is a must for these roles.
I am reminded again today that others are watching our lives and that faithfulness requires an ongoing moment-by-moment, day-to-day walk with God. May all of us be found above reproach.
PRAYER: “Lord, show me any area of my life that must change.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Chronicles 5-7, Psalm 121, 1 Timothy 4