For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the [d]overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. Titus 1:5-9
What kind of people rise up as leaders in ‘the marketplace’ or body politic? What qualities should a person possess as a leader in God’s kingdom and the church? I would imagine if we made lists, side by side, some qualities would be the same, but some would be markedly different. Titus was left by the apostle Paul to appoint church leaders with the new congregation of Jewish and Gentile believers on the island of Crete. One quality with a funny sounding name is that Christian leaders should not be pugnacious. To be pugnacious means to ‘be ready for a fight or expecting a blow’. Some people are like that… they are contentious and that’s not good. God values unity, harmony, and reconciliation in His church.
God, how do others perceive me? Am I truthful, yet gentle? Am I always trying to pick a fight, get my way, or point out a flaw?
Lord, as this day begins- show me again from the life of Jesus, how to lead by example, speak the truth in love, pick fights that matter, and build unity in the kingdom of God. May our church be one that is healthy, loving, unified, and not pugnacious.
Jonathan Edwards resolution #69 reminds us all to emulate other’s good behavior. “Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.” Aug. 11, 1723.