Sometimes we are deceived by false pride
Over the years I have met some church leaders who felt insulted if you did not call them reverend. The more they insist on the title, the more the pride in their hearts is revealed. Some boast about their titles and their so called accomplishments. In 2nd Corinthians chapter 10 verses 17 & 18 we find written, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” All that are in church leadership and those that are not should always ask the question, ‘Do I want the praise of men or the praise from God.’
In Psalm chapter 111 verse 9 we find written, “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” This verse is referring to God not to any man.
Reverend is not a biblical title for a person in leadership in the church. It is a title handed down by men’s tradition. (Do an etymology of the word) I am not saying tradition is wrong or right, I am just pointing out that those in leadership and those that are not must guard their hearts because the heart is where the issues of life arise. Leadership and others must always guard against false praise.
Reverend is in part descriptive of God’s nature and character. There is only one time you find this word in the bible (King James Version) and that is in Psalm 111. The word reverend, based on the Hebrew definition means to; fear, to revere (honor), cause to be frighten, be afraid, dreadful, to put in fear, to be held in reverence due to awesome power. I asked is this descriptive of church leadership?
When you read through the general letters and pastoral letters of the bible, those in leadership positions of the church addressed each other as brothers. They did not call each other by a title, just their names. Humility is very important when doing God’s work.
I chose to use the word reverend not to condemn or judge the word, but just to make a simple point to all that are in Christ; we must guard against false pride. It does not matter if you are an usher, choir member, trustee or deacon we must guard against false pride.
If we are honored, hopefully it is due to the work we perform for the Lord as his servant and not due to a title. We all want to be respected and honored, but hopefully for the right reasons, not a title. In 1st Corinthians chapter 4 verse 6 it reads, “Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.”
If we are obedient to God then Godly people will respect our positions we may hold. But if we are not obedient to God, then not only Godly people but worldly people as well will disrespect your title. Pride always comes before the fall. If you are a true leader in the house of God, it is not because of a title you may have, it is because God anointed and equipped you for the position. It is because you are a man or woman of integrity. This not only applies to the minister but deacons and others as well.
There are some things reserved for God only and there are some things God shares with men. We need to learn to choose correctly. A title usually comes with pride, but obedience comes with humility and faith.
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:26-31)
Prayer: Lord a very modest request. Please keep your servants humble and willing to do your will as you have appointed. Your Holy Spirit gave the gifts to be used to build up the body of Christ. Please don’t let us start worshipping the gift instead of the giver of the gifts. Please don’t let us become distracted by titles forgetting first of all that we are your servants and that you are the only Lord. Please protect us from false pride. In the name of Jesus we pray.