Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one 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 with proper 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 3:2-7
Meditation: There seems to be a movement to show the world that church and Christians are not so bad. We have the seeker churches who want to ensure visitors are not overwhelmed by the religiosity of their church experience. But in the New Testament, we don’t see that the early Christians had programs, plans and all the stuff we see in the church today. Christianity turned the world upside down because Christians were different. Their lives were transformed as Christ worked in them. God used men and women to make a difference in their communities as they gave, served and reached out to help others.
People in the New Testament lived their lives for Christ. As we see in our passage today, there were expectations of the leadership. But this passage is not only for the church leadership. It should be how we all live our lives. Our lives should be above reproach. They should not be like the immature Christians and the people in the world. Albert Barnes states that the Christian leader (and all of us) “should be a man of irreproachable character for truth, honesty, chastity, and general uprightness.” This is living our life for Christ and displaying for everyone what it means to be Christ-like.
If Christians would lead this kind of life, we would see a change in our society. But we don’t. We have come to a point that we are more afraid to offend people than to offend God. This thinking does not make sense, because Christ-like living will draw people to God. Will it offend some people? Certainly! Jesus was an offense to many, but He drew people to Himself by the purity of His life and life-giving message. More than programs and gimmicks, a holy life lived for the Lord will draw people to Christ. It is a lot simpler and less expensive. The one charge people should be able to bring against us is that we serve God.
Challenge: Do live a life above reproach? Does your life stand out for its uprightness, truth, honesty and chastity? Do you compromise on little things so that you don’t offend others? Do you display the love of Christ to everyone including your family? Make a difference for Christ by leading a life that is temperate, self-controlled, respectable and hospitable. Life your life in such away that people are drawn to Christ because of your upright living for Him.
Thought for the Day: Lord, help me to live a life above reproach today. That by leading a life for you, others will be drawn to you.
Used by permission – Fortified Marriages.