May 16, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on May 3, 2014.  Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Integrity”

Titus 1:6-7

“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.”

Reasons why our eyes may glaze over when we start reading this passage:

  1. I am not old.
  2. I am not a man, or if I am, I don’t have a wife.
  3. I don’t have children.
  4. I kind of like the idea of being wild and disobedient.

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Kidding aside, if that were not enough, when we consider that these are one person’s instructions to another on how to choose leaders for newly-planted churches, our distance from the passage seems even further.  How many of us are in a position to be doing such a thing?  As we read on, we may be able to concede that yes, being overbearing, quick-tempered, violent, dishonest and prone to drunkenness are not desirable and to be avoided.  But what do these standards have to do with me?  After all, I am neither an elder (an overseer in a church) nor am I considering becoming one.

But all Scripture is God-breathed and useful . . . (2 Timothy 3:16), and so we look again.  What does God’s word have for us today?  If we take a few steps back from the immediate context, one thing we can see is the connection Paul makes between the way a person conducts themselves in their personal lives, and how they could function in a larger, more public sphere (here, the corporate life of the church).  Paul says that the same qualities that make someone a good husband and father would make that person a good overseer of the family, that is, the church.

Basically, he is talking about integrity.

The concept of “integrity” has to do with wholeness; having a consistency across all areas of one’s life.  How different from the values the world upholds.  Though scandals can arise and surround a public figure, the final verdict of public opinion seems to be that one’s private life does not matter as long as one’s public performance is good enough.

Affected by this sentiment – though in our heart of hearts we know something is terribly wrong with it – how often do we ourselves have things backwards, spending much time grooming our public personas, while we allow other areas of our lives – important but less visible to the public eye – fall into neglect?

Let’s spend some time this weekend thinking about what relationships in our lives need more attention, what areas of our character we really need to work on, and then do something about it.

Let’s also spend some time praying for those who are called to be or even appoint church leaders, that people of integrity would be found to lead throughout all the churches in AMI.

Prayer: Lord, help me to take this matter of integrity with the utmost seriousness and pursue it as if my life depends on it, for without it, I know I will be a very poor testament to Your holiness.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 22-23

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