Summary: The point that Paul stresses is that a Christian leader is to be one who has a great deal of self-control so that he does not let his actions or emotions go to extremes. He does not dominate, lose his temper, or go off on a binge of drinking to escape the pressures of life.
Gigi is Billy Graham's daughter, and she writes about one of
those days she wishes she could wiped off the calendar. It all
started with an experience some of you have had. It was flood
damage to their house. The carpet men were there replacing the
water ruined carpet. She was trying to do some cleaning up of the
mess and overdid it. By suppertime she was totally exhausted. She
got the kids into the car and headed for McDonald's. She stopped
at the bank while her husband ran in. She was doubled parked. She
glanced in her rearview mirror and saw a large older model car pull
up behind her. It was driven by an older woman with flaming red
hair. She started to blast her horn, and now we read Gigi tell what
"I don't know what possessed me, but after my whirlwind day,
this was the last straw! I decided not to move. She gave another
long, loud blast which just reinforced my stubborn refusal to budge,
and I motioned for her to pass me. As angry as she was, she
managed to maneuver the big car around and pulled up beside me.
Then she lowered her window and began to yell. I blew her a kiss.
That did it! She screamed, then stuck out her tongue.
By this time she was out of her car, threatening me and calling
me names, attracting the attention of people passing by. Suddenly I
wanted to crawl into a hole. The red-headed grandmother returned
to her car, and Stephan appeared, wandering what the commotion
was all about. We continued on to McDonald's, but I was too
distraught to eat."
She could not sleep well for several nights, for she felt she had
been so un Christlike, and she wished she could apologized to the
woman. She had let her tiredness and anxiety drown out the gentle
voice of the Holy Spirit, and let her stubborn human nature take
control. The point is, it happens to the best of Christians at times.
We loose a sense of awareness that we are Christians, and that we
are to be different from the world by demonstrating a power of
self-control that is superior to what is natural to man. The Christian
is under constant attack and without self-control is always at risk of
blowing it, and demonstrating to the world that they are far from a
The point that Paul stresses is that a Christian leader is to be
one who has a great deal of self-control so that he does not let his
actions or emotions go to extremes. He does not dominate, lose his
temper, or go off on a binge of drinking to escape the pressures of
life. He is one who has other ways than the world has of dealing
with the stress of life. He is not controlled by the circumstances, but
is self-controlled. Food, sex, and money are all important elements
in his life, but he is not controlled by them, for if he is he will lose his
credibility as a leader. Again, we need to see that people who are
excessive, domineering, and obsessed may be very successful people,
but Paul says they do not qualify to be leaders in the church.
A well known pastor was counseling the son of one of America's
great industrialists and he concluded that his drinking problem was
due to the domineering actions of his father. He confronted the
father and almost got kicked out of his office because the father went
into such a rage. But later the man called and said he reflected on
what had been said and it was true. He ran an empire all day and it
was hard to shift gears when he came home to his family. He began
to cry and admitted that unless God helped him he could not change.
God did help him, and in time he learned to be different with his
son. Here was a man greatly qualified to lead a major industry, but
Paul says he was not qualified to lead even the little church of Crete.
The church has higher standards than government or industry.
In these secular realms there is a demand for leaders who will
do almost anything to succeed. Violence in behavior and the pursuit
of dishonest gain are not vices in the dog eat dog world of
competition. Human nature has not changed. These things were
popular in Paul's day as well, but a Christian is to be different. A
Christian leader is not to be violent Paul says. He writes the same
thing to Timothy, and adds a word to clarify what he means. I Tim.
3:3 says the church leader is to be, "not violent but gentle." No man