Character in Leadership – 1 Timothy 5:22

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

1 Timothy 5:22 NIV

Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus to provide some leadership to the churches in that area. And this letter included both personal admonitions as well as directions for leading these churches. This verse is in the midst of a passage that dealt with elders, the leaders of the local churches. The overall passage deals with providing for their physical needs (vv. 17-18), how to respond to accusations against them (vv. 19-20), and the selection of elders (vv. 22-25).

Various traditions within the Church today have different ways of selecting church leadership. But what Paul has to say here is applicable for all of us. He tells us not to be hasty in the process. He has earlier told us to be sure that our leaders are of good moral character (1 Tim. 3:2-3), and that they hold firmly to the truths of the faith (1 Tim. 3:9). And that we should examine them before putting them into positions of leadership (1 Tim. 3:10). These instructions were given specifically for pastors and deacons, but that constituted the entirely of the churches leadership at the time. So it is not really inappropriate for us to extend these qualifications to the different areas of leadership we have today.

The Importance of Character in Leadership

The character of our leadership is important. We are going to have a tendency to adopt the character of those who lead us. So we should make every effort to ensure that we have leaders who are worthy of the title. And, while this is especially true within the church, it is also true of our political leadership. We should seek to develop leadership of great character rather than people who tickle our ears.

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4 thoughts on “Character in Leadership – 1 Timothy 5:22”

  1. I am so over the whole fake thing.. I am ready for truth from our leaders.. Truth has been watered down and not acknowledged by many.. Yes, character, integrity.. being a role model.. I shudder to think of words(things) spoken that our children and grandchildren should not have had to hear..

    Reply
    • I’m afraid truth will only return when we demand it of our leaders. Unfortunately too many people don’t want the truth. The truth can be scary and unpleasant. It is much easier to listen to lies that tell us we are OK.

      Reply
  2. Sadly, those running for office or elected a parish to oversea for their nominated faith can be gifted with deception. That is why this lesson from Paul should also be tempered with John 4:1.. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Reply
    • The last two verses of this chapter seem to speak to that as well. Sometimes we don’t know as much about their character as we would like until later.

      The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. – 1 Timothy 5:24-25

      Reply

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