Today’s first reading gives us a sort of job application list for bishops and other church personnel. Even though the specific details for what sort of person would make a good bishop have changed, the general idea, I think, is still sound. The bigger idea here is that good people are needed in positions of authority. A position of responsibility needs a good and responsible person – a person of integrity able to resist the temptations that come with power, a person who has proven an ability to successfully accomplish goals, a person who understands the importance of the position. How can a man who cannot manage his own household, manage the house of God? All who work for the church and in positions of authority should be held to a higher standard and should hold themselves to a higher standard. They know they are role models, and they know the rules they enforce – so they especially should keep to them as well. And people who are unwilling or unable to do this, should not aspire to or accept these positions.
Unfortunately, all around us we see evidence of the breach. Instead of the integrity we see praised in the Psalm, we see the slander, the haughty eyes and puffed up heart. Wouldn’t it be great if our leaders – leaders of companies and cities and states and nations were all decent people of true integrity? If they were all people who actually cared about the people they were charged with leading and protecting rather than looking out for their own selfish interests? What if they took their true jobs seriously? How great would it be if pharmaceutical companies actually cared about healing people instead of being concerned with profits? I think it would be wonderful if political leaders all really cared about the benefit and protection of their constituents rather than their own position and power or the projects of the lobbyists.
These rules for church leaders would be good for any leaders. The world would be a better place if all leaders were responsible people of integrity who have their people’s best interest at heart. If all leaders cared more about the people they are leading than their own profits and power, it would be better for everyone.
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