There is a very specific reason why certain men and women have the power to change the world. Their goals aren’t acknowledgements, money, awards, sales, power over people, or control. They don’t need validation or weaker people around them to know they are strong. Their values are of faith and goodness; never depending on a person, place, thing or circumstance, but on God. They remain constant.
“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 1 Timothy 3: 1-16
I believe 1 Timothy: 1-16 is for men what Proverbs 31:10-31 is for women. However, there’s characteristics men and women can learn from both. This particular verse explains the values that a person of virtue, true love, uninhibited success, and spiritual freedom possess.
So let’s review these separately.
Be Above Reproach – Avoid placing yourself in positions that will cause others to be disappointed or displeased with you. Try to maintain a stability that forces people to trust you, crediting you for only the greatness that happens in their life, and loving you for your kind heart that is undeserving of criticism. But when criticism comes, approaching it with a proactive personality is much more appealing and friendly than a reactive one; people will love you for your proactive attitude.
Be The Husband of One Wife – Maybe you weren’t always the husband of one wife or the wife of one husband, but you can always make the decision to be a virtuous person now. Honor your partner, love your partner, respect your partner…you are a two person team and a two person team only. There’s a reason for that. Let go of the past and look to the future because the decisions you make today are shaping your future. Keep ill-intentions and harmful words away from your relationship. You cannot have ill-intention and expect to be someone’s spouse. If you do, it means you don’t want what’s best for them, and the best is all you should ever want for your spouse. While there is no ill-intention in love, there are mistakes. If someone truly loves you, they will see you for you and not your mistakes. Try your hardest to love your spouse with the love God gives. His love is justified – “Just as if I’d” never sinned.
Be Sober-Minded – It’s important to keep a clear mind. Stay true to yourself and don’t let others cloud your thought process. You know what’s best for you. Remain rational as much as you possibly can. It’s easy to make irrational decisions because it’s even easier to react when something goes wrong. But don’t. Live by the Word not by emotions.
Be Self-Controlled – Self-control requires discipline and self-respect. Someone can show you what it looks like, tell you what it feels like, give you advice on how its supposed to be, but you have to learn it on your own. Many people memorize rules and the bible but only understand them enough to verbally repeat them, not follow them. When there’s no one in higher command watching and dissecting your every move, no more tests to prove your discipline, and no more acknowledgement for your good deeds, will you still have the self control to be good person? Self-control is built from learning right and wrong then making a spiritual decision to choose right.
Be Respectable – Do you give people the ability to respect you? Are you respectful of others?Do you care how you affect others? Those who are respected have earned that respect. Also, do you respect yourself? If you are disrespectful to yourself, how do you expect others to treat you? How could you treat others?
Be Hospitable – Let your heart be a home people feel comfortable in. Invite them in. Take care of them. Practice being a safe place for yourself and others.
Be Able to Teach – Teach people by example. Your student will respect you, trust what you have to say and believe in you if you’re a good teacher. It’s imperative to have the ability to connect and understand the needs of others. Whether you agree or disagree, your opinion doesn’t matter, but the truths that you teach do.
Be Not a Drunkard – Don’t indulge or over indulge in activities that make you lose your self control, especially if you know they will change you for the worse. If you are at all affected by an addiction, just know that one small leap of faith toward sobriety can lead to a transformed life. Do not be afraid to grow through God’s grace. He has a big plan for us all.
Be not Violent, but Gentle – Don’t be quick to anger, ill-tempered and easily frustrated. Being revengeful and seeking to hurt others just shows a humongous lack of self respect. Know your limits and get revenge with gentleness and a smile. Sounds corny, I know, but the results are much better than hurting yourself. Unless you need to physically defend yourself, nothing is bad enough to warrant violent emotional, verbal, or physical attacks. A lot of people grow up around these different abuses then begin their own relationships with abuse. Remove foul language, accusatory statements made from fear, unnecessary hurtful comments, and anything else that would be perceived as negative. Always assume you’re being watched…because you are. God will forgive you but forgiving yourself is hard so make life easier and be gentle and loving.
Be not Quarrelsome – Look on the positive side, being optimistic doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant. And choosing not to fight doesn’t justify someone else’s wrong doing. It just means that you’re strong enough to see the good in people, even when they make mistakes, and strong enough to show God in you. Don’t make the devil bigger than he is. Let the devil be the devil and turn the other cheek.
Be not a Lover of Money – Money is wonderful – it can get us just about every materialistic thing we could ever desire. But money doesn’t come with us when we leave earth. How rich in love will you be when you die?
Manage your household well – If you’re missing even one of the values above, are you really managing your household in the most effective way? Think about it!
God wants us to BE these things, not just DO them. Big difference.
I wish I can say I’m a pro at this 1 Timothy advice but I’m definitely not. But everyday I aspire to be who God commands us to be and try my hardest to take heed to His advice. Though I fail frequently, I’m failing less frequently by the day. Trust in God’s plan. He truly knows what’s best.