Raising the Bar of Character

  • Tuesday, February 1, 2011
  • Last week we established that the first thing the Lord suggests we search for when seeking a leader is character. When Paul wrote to Titus and asked him to establish leaders for the churches on Crete, the very first suggestion was for Titus to seek men who were above reproach, husbands of one wife, and children who believe and not accused if rebellion.

    This week, we listed some of the don’ts and do’s that help set the bar of what above reproach means. Looking first at the don’ts.

    1. Not self-willed - The list of things that identify a self-willed person includes arrogance, never making a mistake (or so they think), domineering, and lacking in grace.
    2. Not quick-tempered - If you’re touchy, often angry, quick to lose it then you might be quick tempered.
    3. Not addicted - The word addicted means sitting long by, or lingering with something. In this case it’s wine, but it could be defined today as any routine that done in excess could cause damage, even eating.
    4. Not pugnacious - Isn’t that a great word? It means eager to quarrel or fight. This couples only too well with quick tempered.
    5. Not fond of sordid gain - Put another way, G R E E D
    Now, what about the do’s on the list of things to look for in a leader for the church . . . or a leader in any aspect of life for that matter. Here are the things Paul suggests point to someone who would make a good leader in the church.

    1. Hospitable - Scripture is full of examples of hospitality ranging from the example of Abraham in Genesis 18 to Hebrews 13:2, you never know when an angel might be present.
    2. Loving what is good - Perhaps the best way to help define this item on the list is to suggest that you study the life of Christ. There’s no better example of one who loves what is good than Christ.
    3. Sensible - Sound in judgement, in control of things, keeping first things first are some of the qualities related to this guideline.
    4. Just - Doing what is right in God’s eyes.
    5. Devout - If you’re devout, you’re devoted to God, doing what is true to Divine direction, authentically pious.
    6. Self-controlled - A person who is in control of himself is one who has fleshly and earthly urges and passions under control.
    Now, if you don’t picture yourself as a leader, look at the picture again. We’re all leaders in one way or another. Some are called to lead from the front, others from the rear, and most of us are called to be leaders from the middle. John Maxwell, in his book The 360 Degree Leader notes that the true measure of leadership is influence. Influencing others is a matter of disposition, not position. This list from Titus addresses disposition and gives us a list of God’s standards. God does not bless us so as to lower the bar of His standards, He graces us so as to enable us to jump the bar with His help.

    "And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful."  Titus 3:12


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