Application: Notice the order here and at the same time the coverage of an elder’s life. V. 6 is the conditional qualifier (6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.) – it either is or it is not – so if he is not in this condition then he should not even be in the running. V. 7-8 (7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,) are the character issues that will fluctuate because we are all human. Having said that, there should be a consistency in the life that not one of these character issues are a constant abiding standout in the wrong direction. i.e. – he might show wrong temper sometimes but that would not be the norm or he might not be hospitable occasionally but again that is not his reputation. V.9 (9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching) is the only direct ministry issue here – not what kind of teacher he is; i.e. “Dynamic” Humorous” “Intellectual” etc., but the content of what he teaches. This is a great reminder for anyone that desires to be used by You oh Lord. We need to guard our life so we do not place ourselves off the table of service, we need to proactively continue to allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in us so our character never gravitates to a sinful lifestyle and we have got to be committed to pure Biblical doctrine no matter the world’s desires or standards. By Your grace all can do their best to yield to You and then see You work in their lives!
* Meditation Questions: What kind of sinful patterns do you see in your life? If your not an elder do you think this list does not apply to you? What does that say? What do you think your reputation is with others? Are you willing to go to several people you know well and ask them? What does that say?