Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-9
Reflection: If we were to be legalistic about the rules for overseers of the church that are laid out here, then there would be very few men (the passage does not address women in leadership) who would qualify. The original language states that leaders should only have been married once, following the ancient belief in some circles that a married person should remain single on the death of their spouse. This alone would be a tough standard to maintain today. Add to this the requirement that the children of church leaders be thoroughly well-behaved, and it becomes clear that these rules would exclude many who are called to ministry today.
Does this mean that we should just ignore the standards and do whatever we want? Of course not. But, the point of this passage is not to create a list of hoops for us to jump through. Rather, the passage attempts to quantify what a life of grace looks like, especially those who are called to leadership positions. And since we are all leaders in one way or another, this gracious picture applies to us all.
At its heart this passage describes followers of Jesus as people who are kind, considerate of others, welcoming, servant-hearted, and more concerned for the well-being of the church and those in it than they are for their own power or pleasure. There is not one person who is not called to follow this gracious way of being. If we were all to apply our faith to serving one another, caring for our families, and sharing grace with as many people as possible, our word would be a different place. Who needs you to “lead” them in this way today?
Practice for Today: Any step toward becoming more Christlike begins with a decision and a commitment. While it may take time to fully live out the commitment we make to God, the practice of committing, and regularly recommitting, can be a helpful way to keep growing in our faith. Make a new commitment to grace today.
Prayer for Today: I accept your call to live with grace, O God, and I commit myself to it.
Communion with Christ