Self-Examination and Leadership
There is a lesson here to teachers as well as students in the faith. If you are in leadership, remember your purpose! You’re supposed to be lovingly shepherding sheep, not driving cattle (1 Pet. 5:1-3)! The opposite picture is seen in Diotrephes (3 John 9-10). Don’t miss the picture of Diotrephes. He may have been in the right pew but Christ was not in him. He loved to be first among them.
James will say, “Be not many teachers, knowing you shall come under greater condemnation (Jas. 3:1). It is serious to take the word in mouth and deliver with the tongue. No man who preaches is sinless. But, it sure makes a difference if the man preaching the word is an example of one living by the word. (1 Tim. 4:16). The man teaching needs to be qualified, that is genuine. He needs to be an example of faith, love, righteousness, peace and love (1 Tim. 4:12).
Paul will say, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Paul subjected himself to rigid discipline. Subjection means to bring into bondage as captives from battle. Paul considers his body as one with which he must contend. He must mortify the body and debilitate it. It must be slave to the soul, not the soul to the body. Thus, I bruise or beat the body. The idea is, “I lay it flat with the right blow in the right place lest it deprive me of being a herald of the gospel without charge.” A herald was one who proclaimed conditions of the games, displayed the prize, exhorted combatants, excited the emotions of those who were to contend, declared the terms of each contest, pronounced the names of the victors and put the crown on the heads. He summoned the contestants and proclaimed the winners. If he is making the announcement he wants to be found consistent in his life with the announcement he is making. What he speaks he wants to be found practicing them in his life. After the combat, the prize winners would pass before the judge and it would be determined if he obeyed the rules of the combat. If he was found underhanded the crown was stripped from him and he was cast away. One disqualified. Today we say of the athlete, he failed the drug test. He is not qualified to compete. He is not who he says he is.
— to be continued.