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...
A bully is a weak man pretending to be strong. A hero is a strong man pretending to be weak. Like Jesus: 'The Lamb of God' (John 1:29), Who turned 'The other cheek' (Matthew 5:39), Who answered His attackers 'Not a word' (Matthew 27:14), Who hung out 'On a tree' (Acts 5:30)...
Who, without Arms, Legs or Voice, won the greatest victory the world would ever know: 'Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross' (Colossians 2:15).
Consider one great lesson of the New Testament: 'Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places' (Ephesians 6:12).
Therein, if our fight is not against evil men, if evil men are pawns of 'The evil one' (2 Thessalonians 3:3), if the evil one is fought in the Spirit, what's the point of violence? 'The Captain' of our salvation (see Hebrews 2:10) changed the terms of war. He gave us new clarity, strategy, authority and weapons.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: violence is not just hot action, it's hot words: words that create strife and words that belittle... like accusations, condemnations or insults. 'Whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire' (Matthew 5:22). According to Jesus, dream-hating is serious business.
Unfortunately, sharp words are associated with the Christian church. As His 21st century ambassadors, your job is to set the record straight. With open arms and gentle words, show the world Who Jesus is, how He acted and what He values.
To Be Continued...
* 'Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you' (Luke 10:19).
* The Armor of God: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ephesians+6%3A10-18&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.