One or two more on the Qualifications of an Elder….

I have been in this for a couple weeks now, have just a few more to go. I really thought it would be easy to get through this, you know a few that I had to deal with but for the most part I was OK! Well, I have found that thought to be totally wrong. Each one of these I had flaws, but the truth is in each one that there was a flaw it was through deception, hiding it, trying to fool people, myself, and even God. I don’t think I always did it on purpose and that probably makes no sense I know, but I didn’t. I would have moments that I knew if anyone knew the real me they would probably hate me…….but I was able to brush them aside and move forward.

With that said I would say I was sincere in my love for people, my love for pastoring, preaching, the Word…….it’s mixed up and crazy. Looking back and the way I see Him today and I know how He sees me, it is a different life and would be a different ministry. I can’t change the past but I can allow my past to help me see truth, change and grow. God cares about my heart, my spirit and my tomorrow. The PAST IS DEAD!! I believe with all I have that God exposed me to save me!! Not to punish me or humiliate me. Not to hurt me, my family, my church, but to SAVE ME!

I am trying to be very open and honest with all of these things, they are giving me a window into my past, my thoughts, my motives, my desires…..I know that not many read these words I write and it doesn’t really matter………it’s good for me!! So let’s go on to the next one…

 10. Must not be quarrelsome – When I see this I think of this verse out of 2Timothy – 2 Timothy 2:22-25
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”

I know as we all know people who just love to argue scriptures, or argue anything for that matter. And we all know that with some people you just can’t win an argument. They have an opinion and NOTHING will sway them. It’s a waste of time and before long the argument turns personal, you are this and they are that junk. I had a good friend who always wanted to debate (the way he put it) but if I didn’t bend to his way of thinking all of a sudden I was arrogant, nasty, and hard headed……he would say he would leave the church blah blah blah — this is exactly why Paul writes this to the body of Christ in 2Timothy and even more pointed to those called to be a pastor or elder. Why as a leader is it even more important?

We are called to speak the truth, not opinions, not opinions of other men, preachers, teachers, elders….etc…. There is NO need to “convince” people through arguments of the truth… put it out there and it’s up to them to accept it or not. The Holy Spirit will give light on the truth if they are able and open to hear Him. 

I have spoken on the “spiritual” side of this, what about the personal side of this. Issues that are not about the Word, God, Spiritual issues, etc….it says “Must not be quarrelsome” this means in your life, personal and ministry. A man or woman who is quarrelsome is full of PRIDE, it’s always about them, about being right in just about any situation you are involved in. In ministry I do not think I was quarrelsome but in my private life I was very quarrelsome, with my wife and anyone else that would challenge me. Bottom line is a prideful thing. It was not about “truth” or how the Spirit would be leading me it would be ALL FLESH and ALL ME!!

So, today I am learning to rest in HIM every minute of every day. I look to the Holy Spirit to guide me in my conversations, when my wife challenges me, my counselor challenges me, a family member or a friend……it’s hard at times, the old flesh wants to rise up and “be right” at any cost. But when you enter into His Rest the Holy Spirit will let you get away with NOTHING!!! It may take me some time to get there, but every day it gets better.

Again here, how do you test a man if he is quarrelsome or not? How do you sit before him and ask? If he is, he is prideful and will probably never admit it! At the end of all of this I will address this in depth….I have touched on it with just about everyone of these….. family!!

To my family — I am so very sorry for being such a prideful man all of my life. I had to be right or I would just ignore you or we would not talk about it. Because of my pride I’ve made everything we talked about shallow. I told you what kind of man I was, I told you how the Lord was directing me, I told you what I was doing, thinking all based on what I wanted you to hear. This was my way of not being Quarrelsome with you. It was a man full of pride trying to be something I was not. I am so very sorry. I am now trying to live my life as an open book, looking to be the best I can be as a husband, father, grandfather. It’s a long road and it’s very difficult……but it’s going to be worth it!!

I am far from being all I am designed to be…….but moving forward. 

That’s It for today…..getting through this little by little

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