Character still counts

 

What is more important?

The person you are, or the things you do?

Or are these two things inseparable?

This week we are going to think about Character – the kind of people we are and what comes across to other people.

There are those who manage to lead a double life – they have a public persona and yet are very different when the front door closes behind them. The Christian life and character is intended to be wholesome; it should have no dark corners which exclude God.

God wants it to be a WYSIWYG. That is computer-speak for

What you see is what you get.

Is your character holy and wholly like that?

Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7

v 2  So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. 

In the very early days of Church history it was obviously important for congregations to have good leadership. Paul saw it as his responsibility in the earthly scheme of things to set standards for such leadership. You will notice that the criteria he sets out for Timothy to observe major on a person’s character. It is not social standing or some form of cleverness, nor is it wealth or family background, although having a good reputation in the local community is regarded as significant.

In recent years there have been a number of high-profile cases of Christian leaders falling foul of the law. Issues over the misuse of Church funds, inappropriate sexual conduct, and even the abuse of power, have hit the headlines and damaged the reputation of the Churches, and the honour of Christ. How vital it is for local Churches to be wise and discerning in the appointment of leaders, and for the leaders themselves to live openly and honourably in the community.

In this connection may I encourage you to pray for Colleges where future leaders and Ministers are trained – places like Spurgeons College in Croydon, where Peter was based, and other Theological Colleges preparing men and women for leadership in the UK and overseas. May the training and preparation for ministry go well beyond academic equipping and include spiritual and moral formation that will shape them to maintain a good personal reputation in the communities to which they are called.

 

Monday 20th June Daily Notes from the Hub