Focusing on your health is good. But, focusing on your spiritual health is better. With which do you spend most of your time? Are you mostly working on being physically attractive? Or, do you work on a lifestyle that attracts others to the Christ in you and the gospel you believe?
Recently, we worked through the self-mastery of the mind and body. This time, in our study of godly qualities in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, we will take a step back to get a broader perspective of our lifestyle as a whole. The Bible tells us to build a life that is “respectable.”
“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”1 Timothy 3:1-7
What Does Respectable Mean?
In the original language, this term is rich with meaning. It relates to having characteristics that evoke admiration or delight. It’s verb form means “to cause something to have an attractive appearance through decoration.” And, this is where it gets fun.
The word is traced back to the Greek term “kosmos” which is where we get “cosmos” in our English language. The Greeks identified beauty as something that was properly arranged and in order like the cosmos. It was sometimes used to refer to a woman’s bodily appearance. We have adopted it into our English language to refer to make-up and facial decorations when we use the word “cosmetics,” essentially communicating the application of things to make one visually attractive.
By this, I don’t mean to suggest that a godly person should be more concerned with external appearances than internal substance. Nor am I suggesting that men should wear make-up. Rather, I mean to suggest that a godly person puts the beauty of Christ on display through his godliness and makes the gospel attractive in doing so.
In other words, he is not applying make-up, but godliness. And, people are not attracted to his physical appearance, but his substance, which is shaped and informed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel person wins the trust of others based on the credibility of his convictions. So, I’m calling this quality, Respectable Attraction. Godly people possess a respectability that attracts others to their word and lifestyle providing them with a platform and credibility to point them to Christ.
The apostle Paul was a man of respectable attraction. He didn’t rely on his title to give him authority in the church. Rather, he said, “I could have made demands as an apostle of Christ, but I was gentle among you” and “It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.” He was more concerned with a life of respectable attraction than his title of apostle. In the same way, a Christian ought to be concerned with personal sanctification, not an official title.
Ask yourself these questions: Do you have convictions, and are they made credible by your lifestyle? Is your speech wholesome and truthful or filled with careless words and filthy language? Does your family or closest friends view you as a humble person full of character? Do you work hard and honestly at your job? Do you post on social media what is good and upright? Do you take care of your body? Do your friends enjoy being with you? Do you keep your promises? Do you sacrifice for others?
If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, you need to devote yourself to building a respectable attraction. Here are five ways to help you build.
Respectability begins with solid convictions that are rooted in God’s truth. So, you need to devote yourself to discovering the deep truths about God and His character to form firm beliefs for yourself. This will build conviction that ultimately informs your lifestyle.
God has put your church leaders in positions because of their respectable attraction. He intends for you to imitate them, because they are imitating Christ. So, watch them closely and learn how they live. Sometimes, it is helpful to inquire about their habits and convictions.
Since respectable attractiveness refers to how others perceive you, it is helpful to find some godly friends who are confidential and truthful in order to ask them to watch you and keep you accountable to the conviction you’ve formed.
Part of being attractive is to be candid about your life. You will never be perfect this side of heaven, so it is important that others see that you have weaknesses too, and more important that they see that you rightly deal with sin and work on improving.
There is power in prayer, because it yields your heart and mind to the will of God putting Him in the position to work out godliness in your life. So, be sure to build a consistent prayer life that accompanies your development as a godly man. God desires that you make Him attractive. He will help you get there.