‘Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. ‘ 1 Timothy 3:8-10
I had an opportunity to meet up with my good friend, Pastor Ben, and have lunch this week. As always, our conversation ran the full spectrum of family, work, Harley, hunting, horses, politics, and faith. I always greatly enjoy our conversations and his friendship has been a tremendous blessing for a number of years.
He was telling me about the sermon he gave last Sunday. He was teaching on 1 Timothy 3 and what the requisites to be a deacon and leader of the church are. Like lists tend to do, this list intimidates and really checks a person. However, as we spoke about it, and as I went over this chapter later, it seems to me to be so much more than that. A list is something you do. You make your way through, item by item, checking them off and you’re done. I do not believe that is the author’s intent. As I read this teaching, I see this not as a list of things you “do” and you’re qualified to be a leader in the church. My sense from this lesson is that it is about who you are, what to “be”, to qualify you for leadership. The thing about this list is that it’s all about character, the condition of the heart and its alignment with Jesus. You can go through a list, accomplish the tasks, “do” the work and fool some. The character of a man, however, is ALWAYS revealed. Think about this list of expectations in the context of our every day life, work place, government. These are critical character traits, absolutely necessary in every single aspect of a functional, healthy society. That goes for every corner of our lives, from the family to national and world leadership. Many know what to say, what to do and how to act to get what they want and where they want, but the true, bedrock character of a man is always revealed.
I was talking to him about the horses, training, teaching and just generally being in their presence. While talking about it, I told him that one of the things I appreciate most about horses is that you can’t “fake it”. They won’t let you. They sense everything and will not let you get away with anything. They see right through to your heart and instantly reveal the character of who they’re dealing.
This passage is something that we should all be asking ourselves, “do I represent these qualities”? The qualities described are the result of the transforming power of Jesus. It starts with humility, admitting that you do not know it all, that you cannot do it all and turning to Jesus and God’s word. Pursuing Him and obediently following His teachings, allowing Him to transform your heart to reflect the character He would see from you. Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of greatest Trophy