1 Timothy 3:8-13
8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
I like The Message version of this passage. It uses the phrase “servants in the church” instead of deacon and removes the patriarchal implications by using words like “spouse” instead of “wives.” The admonition is for both men and women with the same standards as servants for Jesus’ body with equal status and importance.
That’s the key word in this passage – servant. Being a servant of Jesus’ body, the church, is a high calling. Serious, honest, unselfish, humble, manage family well, faithful, not controlled by alcohol – these are the qualities required. And by the way, you’ll be tested before you get the gig. Scary huh? But the rewards are huge! When we choose to be servants for Jesus, we gain high respect and we become a “real credit” to Him. We get a chance to serve Jesus himself! Who wouldn’t sign-up for that?
Lord, what an honour to serve you. And to think that You long to reward me – wow! Like Isaiah I pray “Here I am Lord – send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
Written by Boudy Van Noppen