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February 7, 2011

3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 1 Timothy 3:3

Pugnacious means “striker.” I think of an enraged King Saul trying to pin David to the wall with his spear. Then there’s Peter hacking off Malchus’ ear in the garden. While not gaining approval from the Lord for this (hardly), “Sons of Thunder” James and John wished for permission to call down fire from heaven to consume snubbing Samaritans in Luke 9:54.

These are some of the famous strikers in the Bible and we don’t read anything good about what they did or wanted to do. James and John got a dressing down from the Lord, as did Peter. We know what happened to King Saul. He lost his crown.

The last person you want serving in leadership is someone who is pugnacious, who lights up like a Roman candle when he doesn’t get his way. And the lashing out doesn’t always have to be overt. A ministry can come crashing down on the basis of subterfuge by someone whose rage manifests its self with undercover conniving and sabotage.

This is why we pick leaders who have tamed their anger and their tongues. This starts deep down in the heart and requires years of subjection to the Holy Spirit.

Again there is no place for volatility on a council of elders or deacons.

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