Save Time and Preach Like Never Before. Try the new
the leader is seeking to live a lifestyle that reflects the values of Jesus.
A person with integrity is brutally honest about his or her shortcomings and failures, but they’re not content to stay there. They want to grow, to move forward, even while being honest with where they fall short.

People can have some pretty odd expectations of pastors and their families. George Barna did a study of pastor and congregations about ten years ago, and he noted that many pastors and church leaders struggle with unrealistic expectations. Barna says, "Many pastors are doomed from the day they join a congregation because the congregation’s expectations are unachievable by any human being. No matter how skilled, how loving, how intelligent or how experienced the pastor might be, the people of the church expect too much too quickly from the pastor to have much chance of succeeding in their eyes" (Barna 154). But one thing we can expect from all our pastors and church leaders is integrity. We honor our leaders by expecting it.


Now at first v. 23 seems totally out of place. We read that and ask, "Where did that come from?" What does drinking wine for your health have to do with financially supporting our leaders, treating them fairly, and expecting them to act with integrity?

I think the key is in the last part of v. 22, when Paul tells Timothy to keep himself pure. In chapter 3 Paul warned against drunkenness among church leaders, that being addicted to alcohol disqualifies a person from spiritual leadership. Mostly likely, in his passion to be pure and avoid controversy, Timothy simply abstained from alcohol completely.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that in itself. I completely abstain from alcohol, not to be pure, but because as a recovering alcoholic , I know just one drink could lead me down a path of self-destruction. But Timothy was apparently abstaining from all alcohol in his zeal to be pure before God.

Now it was commonly believed in the ancient world that wine had important medicinal value. So Timothy’s total abstinence from wine was hurting his health, leading to stomach problems and frequent illnesses. So Paul tells Timothy that he can keep himself pure before God without hurting his health. In fact, Paul doesn’t want Timothy to engage in actions that will hurt his health, even if those actions are done in the name of being pure before God.

So the principle here is for Timothy to life a healthy lifestyle, with the application of the principle for Timothy to drink some wine in moderation.

So here we find a fourth way to honor our spiritual leaders. WE HONOR OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS BY ENCOURATING THEM TO LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.

For Timothy this meant taking small amounts of wine in moderation for his stomach problems and frequent illnesses. For us it means encouraging our leaders to do things that will keep them healthy for the long haul.

Leadership Journal did a survey
Joseph Puleo
June 2, 2009
This sermon was straight and to the point with related scripture. It is one that I would have difficulty preaching. Though he did he still preached it. I believe it is one that all congregations should hear. It was well done.