Qualification Thirteen — Not A Recent Convert

Therefore an overseer must be... 13He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. — 1 Timothy 3:6

So this qualification moves us from domestic leadership into faith experience.

Here is what Paul is asking Timothy to do. Assess the maturity of the leader's faith. Keep in mind longevity alone is not a determination of faith maturity. The issue Paul attempts to address with this qualification is their time and experience with their manifestation of pride.

Some spiritual leaders have been tested over time by their pride. They have been through enough cycles to know when, where, and how pride manifests itself in their life. And by the power of the Spirit, they have wised up to resisting it before it distorts their perspective and ruins their character.

The problem with pride is that it has a slightly different manifestation in each person. For one, the issues might be promoting self, another exalting self, another justifying self, another degrading self, still another comparing self, or finally, condemning the self. At some point, one of these versions shows up in a leader's life. Or maybe many of them. And young coverts just have not had enough time to be tested by their pride.

Some of the most amazing spiritual leaders I have known have had big-time humbling moments. Just take Paul. Jesus humbled him on the road to Damascus. Jesus confronted him about his pride, and it was over a decade before he entered the ministry. And why — because he had not been through a long enough cycle with his pride. So if you were wondering "how long" a leader needs to be tested by his pride, I would say at least a decade, given the example of Paul.

In the meantime, if you are young or old in your faith, keep looking for how pride might be testing you.

ASK THIS: Which versions of pride are exhibited in your life?

DO THIS: Get to know them and battle with them.

PRAY THIS: God, make me aware of my pride before I am humbled.

PLAY THIS: Better Man. (Again!)

short | practical | biblical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

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Mike Kimball

Justifying, degrading, comparing, condemning prides were all a big part of the selfish arrogance I lived in for a long time through years of alcohol and drug addiction.
Justifying and rationalizing all the time that I deserved a drink and that I was hurting no-one other than myself. Seeing others at lower material bottoms and comparing myself made me think I was not so bad. Then knowing the Truth the guilt and shame would degrade and condemn myself for not living in the Right and Truth. I was an egomaniac with an inferiority complex- no doubt!
Thank God and His Son Jesus and the conviction of the Holy Spirit that finally revealed myself to me!!

Cory D

Well said Mike. I’ve been down the same road as you and have felt the pain of pride. Blessings to you!

David Josker

God, make me aware of my pride before I am humbled.

Jim T

I love your daily Devo’s and this song! I hope you keep playing it every day…

David L. Trima

Being an “older Saint” (61 years old and a follower of Jesus for over 56 of those years) I do love looking at Christ through new followers. Especially through my grandson’s eyes. He just turned 7 years old

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