“Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2).

“Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain” (1 Timothy 3:8).

“In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything” (1 Timothy 3:11).

“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).

Children must respect their parents simply because they are their parents, not because they are respectable. It is the same with kings, governors, and masters. They are to be given respect regardless. This is not true in the church. Church leaders/servants must be worthy of respect. Elders must be examples to the flock—the kind of example that, if imitated, would make the church more godly. 

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)

If we consider the outcome of their way of life and find out that they are not worthy of respect, we should not imitate them, and they should not be elders or deacons.

This post coordinates with last Saturday’s reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge. If you are not in a daily reading plan, please join us. We would love to have you reading with us.

Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.