Day 9

Honor Leaders

from the 1 & 2 Timothy reading plan


1 Timothy 5:17-25, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Deuteronomy 25:4, Galatians 6:4-10, Hebrews 13:7-17

BY Seana Scott

Burmese miners crouched along a watershed with their feet squelching in mud as they washed gravel to unearth rubies—the precious gem that sells for a high price. In 2014, an 8.62-carat pigeon’s blood Burmese ruby sold for $8.6 million. But these days, miners are extracting fewer and fewer gems. Like the gold rush on California’s coast in the 1800s (that dried up within a generation), the mines in the Union of Myanmar seem almost empty. 

Sometimes it can feel like the church is like a stripped ruby mine: another pastor in moral failure, another church leader abusing power. But beyond the headlines, there are many more faithful men and women who serve diligently. They lead, teach, and live out the truth of Scripture with integrity, often without headlines. 

These kinds of godly leaders should be highly valued—more than an 8.62-carat ruby. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy, his son in the faith, to give “double honor” to faithful, effective leaders, especially to those who teach (1Timothy 5:17). “Double honor” means to value and monetarily provide for something. Some scholars think this instruction might not have been limited to male elders but also might include deacons and deaconesses (leaders who faithfully serve the needs of the local body of believers).

Either way, talk of money and church leaders can cause most of us to squirm. But the truth is Scripture teaches us to take care of our leaders in every possible way, including financially. I think Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 5 serve as a helpful place to start considering financial payment for spiritual leadership. The worker deserves their pay. Do not muzzle an ox while it’s threshing (1Timothy 5:17–18, Deuteronomy 25:4). In other words, remuneration for the difficult work of leading is appropriate. Paul uses an example of an ox, but we could also imagine modern examples. “Don’t cut off a salesperson from their commissions.” “Don’t hold back a check from a contractor.” “Don’t keep a diligent spiritual leader from compensation for their effort.”

My husband dedicates more hours than a nine-to-five scouring Scripture, teaching diligently, and leading with integrity as a pastor. I buy milk and ground beef with the generosity of believers honoring their leaders. Our local congregation also shares with us in other ways, like filling my daughter’s closet with hand-me-down dresses or offering a vacation cabin for a retreat. They share all their good things with their teacher (Galatians 6:6).  

Who teaches you in your faith? Who diligently exhorts and leads you by example? How can you share your resources to uphold them in their work? Maybe you drop off an anonymous gift card, earmark a percentage of your income for ministry, or offer another resource. It might look creative for each situation, but let’s take Paul’s exhortation to heart. Let’s show “double honor” to those who lead us well, for faithful spiritual leadership is worth far more than a pigeon’s blood ruby.  

Post Comments (39)

39 thoughts on "Honor Leaders"

  1. Mercy says:

    Thankful for such deep reminders in today’s devotional and your comments. I can hardly imagine the burden and many fights and pressure points a pastor and his family may have to endure. It is like the hardest job. I think being a pastor is like a psychiatrist in a way that you listen to people’s problems all day long, grieve along side and bear the mental burden. Thank you Churchmouse for sharing about Alice. We go to the Lord’s house not because the worship is great or sermons are amazing, but we go because God is there. Humbling reminder. May we learn from Alice. Be blessed dear sisters.

  2. Dorothy says:

    My study Bible points out that “Preaching and teaching are closely related. Preaching is proclaiming the Word of God and confronting listeners with the truth of Scripture. Teaching is explaining the truth in Scripture, helping learners understand difficult passages, and helping them apply God’s Word to daily life.” Isn’t it amazingly strange how close but how different these two are when it comes to religion and Christianity. I was raised in the church — a very liberal church — and I’m trying to remember how many of the ministers did both from the pulpit. The church I go to now our minister does do that by relating to other incidents or other items, similar to the way the writers of SRT devotional writers do. I’ve visited churches though where it was only preaching and that didn’t satisfy me.
    Sisters be blessed and continue to learn more about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

  3. PamC says:

    Thank you Churchmouse for the Alice story. And, Rhonda J, thank you for reminding us to thank our SRT founders & leaders. I would thank too my fellow She’s that are so faithful to comment here. Your comments lift me up, & your prayers sustain so many of us. Thank you.
    Let’s pray for our beleaguered app developers or technical crew as they wrestle to fix our app. I re-downloaded the app & it fixed it. But I find going to the website works the best when it’s glitching.
    Hugs & love to y’all.

  4. Claire B says:

    Phobie, thank you! I was about to email them after deleting the app an reinstalling it did not work.

  5. Lynnette Golden says:

    I have been blessed to live in a parsonage home growing up and receive the gifts of our congregation. I also have been the blesser when my home was a faithful layman’s home. Then again as a pastors wife my husband and i were faithful stewards of our salary. I viewed each paycheck as given by the widows mite. Either side has been filled with rich blessings from on High

  6. Terri Baldwin says:

    Paul wanted there to be no excuse for people to reject the gospel based on negative Christian actions. Live Godly lives to help bring glory to the lord and reach people for Christ. Honor our elders who rule well, good leaders are considered worthy of double honor.

  7. Terri Baldwin says:

    Paul wanted there to be no excuse for people to reject the gospel based on negative Christian actions. Live Godly lives to help bring glory to the lord and reach people for Christ.

  8. Becca Kelley says:

    I listened to that episode too! So much crazy teaching out there. Thankful for God’s inspired Word and Holy Spirit to keep me grounded in His truth. Sometimes false teaching is so blatant and other times it takes on more subtle forms. I pray daily for discernement and for the church to be filled with faithful men to preach truth and courage of believers to live out God’s truth in the world.

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