One thing can be said of Paul – he was willing to endure whatever he had to for the sake of reaching people with the gospel and he would suffer in any way necessary to make disciples. Even so, he considered himself a servant to the elect (saved and unsaved) so that I could see myself as a disciple serving and being a servant to the elect as well – enduring any and everything for that calling.

Paul, a servant[a] of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness. Titus 1:1  ESV

Paul has provided, from time to time, lists that look like goals to reach for and general criteria for selecting leadership in the churches that he had started. It is not that any person could reach perfection by having all of these qualities, but they do address some questions. “Does the person in question desire all these things with their whole heart? Does that desire show itself in their life?” Titus was to take such a list, find those who best fit the description, and then use the list as a training guide to disciple them.

 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you. Titus 1:5  ESV

The one that grabs my attention is being “quick-tempered.” In other words, the person cannot be a one ready to come to blows – that comes the Greek word used here, plektes, which literally means a striker.

 For an overseer,[f] as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain. – Titus 1:7  ESV

It would seem that physical violence played a role in the early Church. There are laws in place in the early days that if a leader struck a person, even if they had erred, that leader would be deposed. The Greeks furthered rule or widened it to include violence in speech as well.

Safe to say that enduring has every to do with loving. If I cannot endure then I cannot be a disciple who disciples others.




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