It’s Christian Character.
“8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 3:8-13)
Clearly from Paul’s letter to Timothy, simply being able and willing to serve isn’t the only parameter when it comes to being a deacon in the church. In chapter 3, verses 8 through 10 give us some specifics on a deacon’s character.
Worthy of Respect & Sincere
In verse 8, a deacon should be “worthy of respect” and “sincere“. Other translations state “dignified” and “not double-tongued“. This is a steady, honourable person.
This isn’t that church member who plays political games, stating one opinion to this person and then another opinion to the next person. People who are respected, dignified and sincere are willing to always speak the truth, regardless of popularity or personal gain.
Deacons must reflect this type of character.
Next in verse 8, Paul mentions the “over indulgence” of alcohol or your translations may use the word “addicted“. I believe this can apply to all substance abuse.
Even medication that’s prescribed by a doctor can be abused and eventually tear down a person’s ability to function. Substance abuse issues should be dealt with prior to officially serving as a deacon.
Next in verse 8, a deacon should not be pursue “dishonest gain” or some translations simply state that a deacon should not be “greedy“.
Some people need to have the latest and greatest? Or they need to be the latest and greatest. They’re constantly playing the 2 sets of Jones’ game, keeping an eye on friends, neighbours and colleagues, desperate to obtain more stuff or a higher status.
This kind of greed and selfishness is not characteristic of a deacon.
Deep Truths of the Faith
Next in verse 9, they must “hold to the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscious“.
Do they know Jesus? Have they accepted the Gospel and given their lives to Jesus Christ? Do they believe and follow Biblical principle? Is their conscious clear with an assurance of their salvation or are they constantly wavering back and worth, in doubt?
The character of a deacon is Christian character.
Which moves us to verse 10, that a deacon should “be tested“.
This isn’t a written theological exam. This is like a character background check. Does this potential deacon have any skeletons in their closet? Who are they in their home, in their workplace, in the community?
Does this person fulfill the character described in verses 8 and 9? If so, then let them serve as deacons.
Clearly from these verses, a deacon’s character must be above reproach for the integrity of the church as a whole.
CAN I GET YOUR FEEDBACK?
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul outlines the character of a deacon. What character trait sticks out the most and why?