Thursday, June 9 – 1 Timothy 3:10-11
These men must also first be tested; then have them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.
A teen caught in an act of wrongdoing may respond by saying, “It’s not a big deal.” This phrase is meant to convey that the offended party is taking the situation more seriously than is necessary. Granted, that one particular action may not be a big deal, but as small actions add up they breed habits and attitudes that are a big deal. If we are honest, we also use this phrase as a copout in our faith sometimes. We watch a movie with inappropriate scenes, let our phones linger on something we shouldn’t, spread a rumor about someone, and in the moment, we say to ourselves, “It’s okay, it is not a big deal.” These excuses do not bring us closer to God, they steer us away from Him. When we say this to God, we justify our actions and reject our need for His redemption in our lives.
When Paul gave Timothy these instructions, he showed him that they were a big deal. For the leaders of the church, following Jesus is not only about getting by with a good image when people were watching. It is about living above reproach, even when no one is around. They were also to maintain dignity and faithfulness by avoiding gossip. This calling is more than a decision that is made one time, it is a conscious, daily effort that only comes as you abide in Christ.
- What are some things in your life you have made excuses for that hinder your faith?
- How can you be more intentional about your words and actions as this passage calls us to?
- Pray and confess to God the excuses you have made. Ask Him to change your heart to take the things that help or hurt your faith seriously.