An Assignment – Part Three

And here it is! The final installment. Thanks for sticking with me.

12. Leaders who love peace. NIV “not quarrelsome” KJV I can’t find the correlating word.

13. Leaders who are not covetous. NIV I can’t find the correlating word. KJV “not covetous”

The book seems to separate “peace” and “covetous”. In the NIV it says “not quarrelsome”, which would mean “peaceful” to me. And in the KJV, in the same space it says “not covetous”. I think the words are related but the authors of this book separate them into two different traits. I’ll treat them as the same in my comments here.

The book says we should desire peace instead of being right most of the time. Homosexuality comes to mind. From a Christian point of view, it is a sin just like anger, covetousness, lust, etc. We may feel it but we are not to act on it. But, in our current times, most people don’t believe this. Some Christians think that maybe the notion is out of date or past its usefulness, that maybe we should let this one slide. And some say the translation of the idea of the sin itself should be different, that they are really referring to sexuality infidelity and immorality rather than the sexual act or inclination. Should we fight for it? Should we make a stand and tell people that they are dead wrong and living horrible lives, that they cannot be loved by God because they are living in their sin? Would this be a peaceful way of living? I think we commit a sin of our own if we do this and have no righteous place to stand if we do. Our commandment is to love each other, to show the love of Jesus to everyone regardless of who they are or what they are doing. It is God’s job to judge and change hearts. That is how we practice peace.

As to covetousness, the book says we should not want for more or for what others have and we do not. This is a killer of peace in my thinking. Covetousness can kill your joy and make you act out in anger or violence instead of peace, so the two are connected. Can we be jealous of God’s love for others even when they are living what we believe to be a sinful life? How can they be happy and content if they are so wrong in their thinking? Here we are doing right, living as we believe God commands us, and then that guy is gambling and chasing after women….and God loves him too? That’s just not right. In our jealousy and covetousness, we act out in anger against our neighbor. That’s a human thing to do. But we are called to be more. It’s infinitely difficult, but with God we can do all things.

14. Leaders who lead in their homes and are respected. NIV “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. KJV “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;”

Here’s another one that looks a little different in this day and age, right? This is where I go to what the author was trying to convey underneath instead of the literal. Where does a “well-managed family” come from, instead of look like? Is my home out of control? Do my children respect me? Does my husband have faith in my ability? Today it doesn’t look like children obeying and being in subjection to their parents. At our home, it looks more like a dance of respect. They’ve been raised with capable, strong, loving, and respectable parents when they were younger. And as they’ve gotten older, their growing independence has been encouraged and respected. It’s kind of its own story and much different than how most people raise children these days, or don’t raise children really.

I think the author of this book hit the nail on the head in the video presentation by saying, “The family is a microcosm of the church and the world.” It made me stop and think. If my home life is mismanaged, if I cannot earn the respect of my family, if I’m constantly whining, unsatisfied, and blaming others, or taking people’s attitudes personally at home, that WILL translate into my ministry as well. I can already see it when I interact with people in the community. And I’ve had it effect my attempts at service in the homeschool community but didn’t see it until now. It’s something I will definitely be keeping an eye on in my life and learning to do better.

15. Leaders who are settled in their walk and doctrine. NIV “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” KJV “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

A tree needs deep roots and fresh branches not to be destroyed in the wind. I wouldn’t consider myself “settled in my walk” just yet. I’ve only been a Christian in the true sense of actively believing, searching, and being born again, since 2004. It’s a lifelong walk and process. But I can see where I was years ago and see it in others as well. We are so excited when we learn the truth and the way and we want to immediately share it with others. Our lack of experience in living and loving in that truth leads us to do things that aren’t necessarily good for others. We think we know, but really we don’t and need more training. My hope is that this study will help me continue on that path in a more constructive way.

16. Leaders who are respected in their community of relationships. NIV “He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” KJV “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

Do I come across people as someone to be trusted, loving and kind, helpful, and respectable? I can only hope that I do. I know that I do try my best to be so and sometimes, even though I do my best, someone believes I am not. I guess that is where the saying comes from, “You can’t please all the people all the time.” Sometimes I feel my efforts to help or be fair are seen in a negative light, as if I’m being stubborn or stingy. I want to stand up for what I truly believe, to have principles, but that can be misconstrued or at least misunderstood.

That’s a lot to think about! I think I’ll print the short version out for myself to remind me of my goals. We can’t be perfect in all these areas and I don’t think we are expected to, but knowing what the goal is shows us where our weaknesses are. I won’t stop trying to be a leader in the world because I have too many weaknesses, I’ll only try to shore up where I’m lacking and know to reach out for help and support when I feel I can’t live up to expectations.


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