Monday, October 13th, 2014
Leadership (Part 24)
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 (NIV)
Reproach is 'disgrace or shame' (American Heritage Dictionary). For a leader to be above reproach, he must live God's way. Because God is the Definition of above: 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways' (Isaiah 55:9).
Without His lift, we have no chance at all, unless we consider a different elevator: namely, a serpent with wings. But his highs don't last. Anyone he puffs up will vanish. 'Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow' (Psalm 144:4).
Because pride is like a helium balloon. When released, it rises in a big show... until we can't see it anymore. Then it falls flat somewhere down the line. ' 'Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,' declares the Lord' (Obadiah 1:4).
In recent years, some leading Christians rose without God. They made big mistakes. When they fell (which God says is inevitable), a cloud of disgrace and shame rose in their wake. Followers were hurt. Their witness of Christ became a public relations disaster.
Christian congregations must not choose their leaders based on common worldly standards, including: 1) Attractive appearance (Jesus wasn't); 2) Excellent speakers (Moses and Paul weren't); 3) Impressive educations (His top disciples were fishermen);
4) Family backgrounds (Rahab was a harlot, Ruth was an outsider and David was a shepherd); 5) Insider connections (The entire ministry of Jesus revealed the errors of elitism.)
Instead, Christians must consider God's leadership qualifications. They are extensively explained in the Bible, perfectly exampled by Jesus, and shared by all of God's stars.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You are among God's surprising new leaders. Your qualifications may seem questionable to the world of Christendom. But that very newness is S.O.P. for God.
Even so, practice holiness and pursue righteousness to be above reproach... and stay there.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.