“Well Thought Of By Outsiders” ( 1 Timothy 3: 7, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Paul outlines rather thoroughly the qualifications for the office of overseer (or bishop): this person “must be above reproach, the husband of one wife (or the man of one woman), sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” (1 Timothy 3:2-3) He should also be able to “manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive.” (1 Timothy 3:4) And, “he must not be a new convert.” (1 Timothy 3:6)

Then Paul writes to Timothy that in addition to these fine qualities, the bishop (or overseer) “must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

Today, I believe this final quality is overlooked and even demeaned as a catering to the world. Think about the recent scandal involving the self-proclaimed prophet who confidently announced the coming of the last day, and the ‘rapture’ of Christ’s church. Even now, this man is claiming the second coming was only miscalculated and is actually going to occur in October of this year. This man is hardly “thought well of by outsiders” and has indeed become “a snare of the devil.” He is leading many people to mock our Lord; and is likely causing new converts to doubt the veracity of God’s organized church and even His Word.

Nothing in the Word of God is to be skimmed over and is to never be dismissed as irrelevant — Paul clearly teaches that a person who desires to lead “must be well thought of by outsiders.”