Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
Containers. I’m not good at organizing them well. I try to arrange them according to size and purpose. I put the adjoining lids carefully, by size, in a crate. That sounds easy until a few weeks later when that cabinet looks like a big spoon stirred the containers into one big mess. They become useless to me if I cannot find the right lid. They mock me when I can’t find the right container for just the right use. Ugh. Containers. Grow up, stay organized, will ya? Okay, I digress. Containers frustrate me. Mm. Do God’s containers frustrate Him?
It is a good thing God knows how to keep His containers organized in His well-furnished kitchen of life. You see, Paul tells Timothy (and us) that we are containers that hold great blessings. We are called by God to do whatever task He tells us to do. We are used by Him to help others know Him more. But here’s the kicker…We get to say yes or no in how we are used. Are we willing to clean up the bits of cookies on the floor after Bible School or mop after a big fellowship meal? Are we willing to go to a senior citizens home that hasn’t been cleaned in years due to ill health, put on gloves and get down and dirty on our knees to clean the filth that has accumulated? Are we willing to notice the trash piling up, take out the trash, without complaining or forming a committee to do it, so guests will be served well? What kind of container in God’s kitchen are we? Paul tells us EXACTLY what kind of container we need to be and how we are to behave. Listen in…
2 Timothy 2, The Message
20-21 In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
22-26 Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #11: “Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.”
Leadership Characteristics –
–Works hard to please God.
–Willing to do whatever God asks of them.
–Is not too proud or haughty to do whatever tasks needs to be done in Jesus Name.
–Does everything in the Name of Jesus.
–Runs from evil and evil’s schemes to use what God has given them for self indulgence.
–Runs quickly to all things that builds maturity in God’s eyes; faith, love, peace, honest sincere prayer with others.
–Runs from arguments that are stupid, solve nothing and promote more gossip.
–Not argumentative, but is the opposite…a peace maker…at all costs…”If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18) Jesus told us to be peacemakers not disturbers of the peace. Walk away from irrational discussions. Your silence will speak volumes.
–Is a teacher who keeps their cool.
–Is a gentle listener…really listening to what the other person is saying without thinking of what you will say in return. Just listen.
–Is patient, even when others do not obey God. Someday they might. Don’t burn bridges in these relationships. Love conquers all.
–Mature enough to know we don’t change people. Only God changes hearts and minds.
“Run after mature righteousness” as God’s containers that hold all His gifts to expand His Kingdom for His glory and is our eternity.
After what God has done for us, cleaned up the trash in our lives, can we do no less?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for taking out the trash in my life by your work on the Cross. Thank you for saving me from myself and the indulgences evil has to offer daily. Thank you for continuing to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world…using Your created “containers”, if necessary.
In Jesus Name, Amen