Going to the gym almost every day has produced some interesting effects in my life. First of all, my wife is very proud of me! If I love her, I should do whatever I can to make her happy. And she seems rather happy, even though she still rides a stationary bike bolted to the gym floor going nowhere.
Each time I go to the gym, I do the “circuit.” The circuit involves about 10 machines that “work” (read “torture”) various muscle groups, or bodily areas that ought to have muscle groups. We need such a circuit of machines because we have become fat and lazy with all our labor-saving devices.
Titus: How do you like my halo?
I mean, look at the picture of Titus to the left. He is thin and tanned and calm. Why? Well, he walks everywhere — and he has a halo over his head to help him live rightly.
Because God isn’t giving out halos these days, we have to exercise. And that’s what I’m trying to do. Kind of gives a new meaning to the expression “a circuit-riding preacher,” doesn’t it?
Which brings us to our next section in Titus about how we can become spiritually healthy. We read in chapter one:
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Here’s a few questions that occur to me on these verses:
1. What is God’s opinion of human leaders (v. 5)?
2. In terms of qualifications, “blameless” (v. 6) can’t mean perfect, can it? How do we strive to be as blameless as we can be in our culture?
3. Marital faithfulness is critical in spiritual leadership. Do you agree with the NIV translation of the expression “one-woman-man” that it refers to “faithful to his wife” (v. 6). Must an elder be married?
4. Not having wild and disobedient children seems to be a high standard. What is the principle in mind here in the last part of verse 6?
5. Which qualification jumps out at you in verse 7? Why that one?
6. If you could pray for any one quality in your spiritual leaders from verse 8, which would it be? Why?
7. Verse 9 has the first occurrence of our word “sound” or “healthy.” How important is doctrine to spiritual leadership and your own spiritual growth?