1 Timothy 3
This chapter in Timothy is laying out the qualifications for people who held positions of service in the church. Paul gives a list of things that, at first glance can seem like they are a list of dos and don’ts which goes against the grain of grace. But you have to read that this is for those who feel called and led to high positions, whether it be deacon, teacher, or pastor.
This list however is not meant to scare you away or to say that those who hold these positions have to be perfect people. That is an impossibility as we know, Jesus was the only perfect human. Jesus was fully human and He was fully God which is why He was the picture of perfection. But what Paul is laying out here is that the person who serves the church must be someone who is striving for these things. When Paul lists out the list of dos and don’ts that he lists here he is saying this should be someone who has been following Christ for a time and his faith has stood the test of time.
They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. (1 Tim 3:9)
Again, I believe that what Paul is saying without saying it is that it must be someone who is walking in relationship with Jesus.
Paul also addresses the wives of the church leaders. Some translations actually stated women who were serving as well.
“Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. (1 Tim 3:11)
Oh ladies can we just skip over that word slanderer? (I wish) I know myself and I know my mouth can get in the way of myself, my ministry, my friendships, QUICK if I am not careful. The NIV says “not malicious talkers”. The AMP says “not double-tongued”. TPT says “not known as those who gossip.” I tried and tried to look for a different way to look at that. But the bottom line is I know that my mouth will get me in trouble a whole lot quicker than the rest of this list here. So before I get up on a spiritual high horse let me just get right back down on my knees and ask the Lord to forgive me and to help me to be more dignified and oh I pray that He will find me faithful in all things. But I can promise you it only happens in any semblance of faithfulness if I spend my time with Him on my knees.
My favorite part of this chapter is the last verse. I am not sure I have ever picked up on it before but it is a praise to Jesus and it is something I want to memorize and keep in my heart always.
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (1 Tim 3:16)
I believe I would end that statement with an exclamation point!
Pray for the educators today and the students. No one knows what everything is going to look like in the Fall. There are lots of decisions to be made. Please pray for wisdom for the ones making those decisions.