Thursday, March 17, 2016

STUDIES IN TITUS (pt 12)

LOVER OF THE GOOD

We have seen the many things that a leader should not be.


Paul then shifts gears and tells us what he should be:
  • a lover of hospitality 
  • a lover of good men 
  • sober 
  • just 
  • holy 
  • temperate 
  • holding fast the faithful word he has been taught

First in this list is “a lover of hospitality.”

So many church leaders think they fulfill this one by accepting every invitation to eat, but hardly ever inviting anyone into their own home.

The phrase, “lover of hospitality”, translates a compound word made up of φλος (G5384) and ξνος (G3581) [philos and xenos] = “lover” and “stranger.” If you click on the links provided, you will see that “stranger” can also mean “guest” or “host.”

The idea of being a lover of hospitality is similar to Heb. 13:2—
“be not forgetful to entertain strangers…”

Sadly, many in the church today have followed the ways of the world and are either too busy or too cautious to have strangers over to their homes. This is true from pulpit to pew to public.

There was a season in my lifetime when the front door was always unlocked and we never knew who might show up at dinnertime. (Before you throw “times are different now” at me, that was in a crime-ridden, drug-infected ghetto of a major city.)

While I am not calling for that kind of hospitality, I am calling out the pastors and leaders whose homes are shut to all but their closest friends and staff members.

When was the last time you invited someone other than those to your home on an individual basis? (I’m not talking about the Christmas party gathering.)

You, reader, when was the last time you invited a first-time visitor to your church to have dinner with you at a local restaurant after service?

If your home is not open, then you are not qualified to be a leader in the church or to become a leader.

Secondly, a leader must be a “lover of good men.”

Again, the phrase translates a compound word. This is the only place in the Bible where the word is used. “Men” is added by the translators. The word has the basic meaning of “lover of good” or “goodness.” Putting “men” in the phrase seems to make the beginning of the passage redundant.

The 2015 version of the Amplified Bible renders Titus 1:8 as
And he must be hospitable [to believers, as well as strangers], a lover of what is good, sensible (upright), fair, devout, self-disciplined [above reproach—whether in public or in private].
The 1954 version of the same translation reads:
“But he must be hospitable (loving and a friend to believers, especially to strangers and foreigners); [he must be] a lover of goodness [of good people and good things], sober-minded (sensible, discreet), upright and fair-minded, a devout man and religiously correct, temperate and keeping himself in hand.”

This particular qualification—loving what is good—is probably not violated too often.

To be sure, there are those who feed on the gossip within their church in order to control the flock, but, hopefully, they are in the minority. Those groups where the pastor is informed of everything that is going on or said are usually borderline cults soon to be full-fledged prisons.

These are those who, rather than lovers of good, are lovers of evil, feeding on the faults and foibles of the undiscerning.

In summary, then,
  • Are your leaders given to hospitality? 
  • Do they love what is good? 
  • Is the person you are considering for leadership hospitable? 
  • Is he or she comfortable in a crowd without being the center of attention?

As we will see a little further on, these are not just nice things to have, but are essential to a high quality of leadership and protection for the flock.

1 comment:

  1. this article shows us what kind of a person a leader should be and it also shows us what qualities should a leader possess, thanks to practicalbibleteaching.com for such an inspiring article.

    ReplyDelete

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