“For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” (Titus 1:7-9, NASB)
In the first verse of this passage, Paul says that the overseer (bishop, deacon, elder, or leader) must be above reproach. Webster’s Dictionary defines “reproach” as: to find fault with a person, to blame or censure, disapprove, or bring discredit upon one’s self or family. I have developed a deep respect for Paul’s teaching on the character and behavior of leaders.
As an Executive Coach, Ministry Leader, Disciple Teacher and husband, I’ve learned that God holds me to a higher standard. Paul is very clear about what the standard is: to be above reproach. As leaders in our church, Karen and I understand that our actions are on display to our congregation, to those we serve and most of all to God.
I confess that for many years of my life, as a Prodigal Son, I was unconcerned and ignorant of this standard. Now I regularly examine my thoughts and behavior to see if I measure up. I ask the Holy Spirit to convict me any time my actions are not pleasing to God and to help me change my thinking and actions to align with God’s Word. God has shown me what is at stake and helped me to understand why His standards of accountability for leaders and teachers are so high. While I do not want to bring dishonor to my wife and family, I especially do not want to dishonor God. I pray daily that God will help me to glorify and honor Him in all I do and say and that I will be pleasing in His sight.
Child of God, what about you? Are you meeting God’s standard of excellence in your public and private life? I encourage you to ask Him to give you the grace through faith to live a life above reproach.
Lord, thank You for the power and truth of Your Word. Jesus, help me to imitate You in all I do and say. Help me to walk in holiness, according to Your Word and to be pleasing to You in every way. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
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