Real Men (5)

Paul continues to describe the qualifications of a church leader (bishop). He repeats the primary principle: The man must be blameless. This does not mean sinless, but it does imply free from such outward expressions of sin that others consider him unqualified to hold church office. He is, first, a steward of God. A real man sees himself as God’s servant. God has given him time, strength, intellect, skill, and resources. He must use them well, not as if they belonged to him, but as gifts from the Creator and Lord of life. Thus, he should not be self-willed. He submits his will – his desires, plans, ambitions, dreams, decisions – to the God who formed him and bestowed life upon him. He trusts in God. He believes that God will not allow any real harm to come to him. He seeks to do God’s will, in God’s way, according to God’s timing. When others cross his will, he does not see them as his enemies; rather, he considers whether God has sent them to keep him from mistakes. As a result, he will not be quick-tempered. He will not lose his temper when someone disagrees with him or questions him or stands in the way of his agenda. He will be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for he looks to God for protection, provision, and pardon. He knows he makes many mistakes, commits numerous errors, and offends others often. When they bring this to his attention, he hears the voice of God, and criticizes himself, not those around him. Who can be at all like this? Only the man who trusts in the grace of God given to us freely through Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification.