Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prepare your character

Again another small nudge in the right direction.

I was listening to another message by Ps Phil Pringle. I was plodding along on my merry way - when something he said stuck out to me. "It's not your gifting that is important, it's your character".

In Titus 1 it outlines the qualities needed in a church leader, but I think the most important thing to note is: gifting wasn't even mentioned!! It was character that was described.

Titus 1:5 I left you in Crete to do what had been left undone and to appoint leaders for the churches in each town. As I told you, they must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. Their children must be followers of the Lord and not have a reputation for being wild and disobedient. Church officials are in charge of God's work, and so they must also have a good reputation. They must not be bossy, quick-tempered, heavy drinkers, bullies, or dishonest in business. Instead, they must be friendly to strangers and enjoy doing good things. They must also be sensible, fair, pure, and self-controlled.

It doesn't say "This person must prophecy, heal the sick, raise the dead, preach up a storm and worship lead so awesomely" - it says this person must be of moral character, have a good reputation, be kind to strangers, sensible, fair etc.

This goes to show that it's not your skills and abilities that are important, it's what's on the inside. It's WHO you are, not what you can do.

I want to bring your attention to the REPUTATION part. What is your reputation like? Do people see you as a nut case? Rude? Self centered... well.. if you ARE self-centered you won't know that because you are self centered!! LOL. Do people see you as bossy? Abrupt? Unkind? A liar? Or do they see you as reliable, trustworthy, kind, honest etc. How the majority of people see you is usually a good indictation of your character. You can't ignore the majority when they say "She's bad tempered" - and you are the only one who doesn't think so.

I remember a time a few years ago, a man in our church had a very open affair with a woman who was not his wife. He kept coming to church, even though he was "living in sin" and acted like nothing was amiss. Then one day during open worship, he opened his mouth and started giving a word of knowledge. I felt utterly sick in my spirit, and thankfully my Pastor stopped him immediately. His gifting was not important at that time, it was his character.

Titus 1:15-16 Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person's mind and conscience are destroyed. Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don't. They are disgusting. They won't obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good.

When the time comes, I want my ministry to be good, pure and worthwhile. I want my reputation to go before me, so people will be willing to listen to me. I am willing to do whatever it takes for my character to be molded and shaped.

MY PRAYER
Lord God, hear my prayer. Shape me, help me recognise character flaws that need to change and show me how I should be. Keep exposing me to teaching, keep challenging me and growing me.
Amen

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