Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Above Reproach

Installment #16 of my self-assigned project to study the "re" words in God's Word. (For further explanation of this undertaking, refer to the entry titled "Reach, Read and Reap" from February 3, 2011.)



(noun) a cause or occasion of disgrace or discredit; to find fault, blame or disapproval; object or scorn or contempt

"Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money." 1 Timothy 3:1-3 

Though this passage has been directed in the Bible to overseers and deacons, the Lord recently led me to meditate on the phrase "above reproach". He was impressing on my spirit that my life as a believer and follower of Christ should be above reproach. I was a little puzzled at first because the only use of that particular phrase is found in the above passage directed toward leadership. But the more I pondered it I sensed that "above reproach" should be a standard or a goal for all believers. Let me explain...

If I rewrite the verse with words meaning the opposite of the original, it would go something like this: Now the average believer who is not an overseer or deacon can be below reproach, given to many wives, excessive, out of control, dishonest, rude, unable to teach, given to drunkenness, violent, quarrelsome, and a lover of money.

Now does that sound right? Hardly! My examination of the passage in this way drew me to the conclusion that leaders should set the example in the things listed in this verse for other believers to follow. Ultimately, it is God whom we follow and Christ whom we imitate, but our goal, just as it is for the overseer and deacon, should be to behave in such a way that we too are "above reproach". We too should be married to but one person, moderate in our actions, self-controlled, honest, hospitable, able to teach others from knowledge gained or our own experiences (everyone is teaching someone even if just by their actions), not given to drunkenness, peaceable, and a good steward of the money with which we have been blessed.

Father God, help me to live a life that pleases You. A life that is above reproach. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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