Aim for 10 out of 10
In today’s terms, Paul is Timothy’s Google. Whatever information Timothy needs to manage the churches flows from Paul’s pen. Whether it’s about the role of women, what they may or may not do, or about what the leaders should do and not do, Paul has something to say about everything. Indeed, it is a description of leaders that comes next. Although everybody can listen to this, because all of us need to fit into this picture. So, here goes.
- Live a clean and transparent life so that nobody can slander you.
- Never allow another man/woman into your life.
- Do not live extravagantly.
- Care for what you do.
- Live a decent life.
- Make a difference with a heart that burns brightly for others.
- Tell others about God.
- Your alcohol use must be accompanied by wisdom.
- Control your temper and do not provoke others.
- Be friendly, for sure.
- Do not be controlled by money.
- Spend time with your children so that you can teach them to respect others.
- Don’t think too much of yourself. Then you act just like the devil.
- Your life must be so irreproachable that nobody can point a finger at you or even make up something.
Most of these points are applicable to a Christian. Yes, leaders must ensure that all these instructions form part of their makeup, but that does not prevent any Christian from also living within these guidelines.
When you get a list like this, you feel like getting a red pen and rating yourself to see if you make it or not.
This reminds me of the movie “She is out of my league”. In this movie, a group of friends give one another points to see how highly they are rated. Everyone in the group starts with 10, but loses points depending on their work, boyfriend or girlfriend, type of car, etc. So, one ends being 6 out of 10 and another 7 or 8 out of 10. One guy, who was 6 out of 10, then met a 10-out-of-10 girl. Everything about her was perfect. But then he tried to get her down to his standard.
However, the turning point in the movie comes when he realises that he must rather try to get to her 10 out of 10. Eventually, the movie ends well when he achieves 10 out of 10 too by the way he does things.
But when you and I look at the list above, you realise how far away from full marks you are. How does one deal with that? We can easily fall into a depression and throw in the towel even before we’ve started. I’m too bad. I’m too weak. I will never make it. When you go about it like this, chances are you will never make it. You’re simply dragging too much baggage with you.
Or you can go through the list with the help of the Holy Spirit and his wisdom and ask: What jumps out at me? Which one, two or three of these signposts talk to me as I go through the list?
Then you should know these are the things that God wants you to focus on. I know you know what I’m talking about. Those few sentences that always catch your eye when you read the Bible. Now is the time to prepare a plan of action and work on those things. God is pointing them out to you and He wants to help you. Maybe it’s time to start changing, so that we can increase our mark out of 10 – not for ourselves, but out of gratitude to God!
Think about this
Read the list again.
What jumps out at you?
What are you going to do about it?
Lord, You set a high standard for your children. Your blood saved me from the chains of sin that bound me. Now, through your power, I’m able to live a free and clean life. I am no longer held captive by sin. Please help me live in your light. Amen.