In HOPE 10.26

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David Timms  


New Book Released

The Power of Blessing: How a Carefully Chosen Word Changes Everything. (Bethany House, 2010)

My latest book explores the power of our words to create a new reality for someone else and examines the remarkable blessings ("beatitudes") with which Jesus opened His famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).

Prayer for Today

Father, I'm so much less than what I'd like to be -- let alone what You'd like me to be. Yet, I present myself again to You, willing to be a living sacrifice for Your purposes and Cause. Turn my flicker of desire into a flame of passion, that You may be glorified through me. Teach me, by Your Spirit, to imitate Christ and become more like Christ in all that I say and do. Amen.




"Be imitators of me, even as I imitate Christ."
~ The apostle Paul
1 Cor 11:1 (cf. 1 Cor 4:16; 1 Thess 1:6)

Statesmen or Salesmen?

I don't mind when they knock on the door. OK -- I do mind!

It bothers me when salespeople show up on my doorstep. They have products I don't need at prices I usually can't afford. They want to sign me up or sell me something that rarely works out well. The Kirby salesman was drunk and belligerent (yes, why did we let him in?) and the magazine subscriptions just pile up because I have no time to read them.

Many people perceive the church through the same lens. "Sign 'em up; provide a flimsy product; take their cash." It's not a flattering image; nor is it universally true. But church growth and evangelism, when separated from serious discipleship, can look suspiciously like "sales."

All of this raises a question to consider. Are our churches raising up statesmen or spiritual salesmen?

Statesmen are men and women of consistent and quality character, deep godly roots, who model lives and values to which we aspire. Their presence among us is a gift to us. They seek no personal gain but serve the greater cause of humanity. We look to them not to worship them but to emulate them. They walk closely with Christ and habitually deflect attention away from themselves. They wear humility comfortably. I've know a few such folk, and they inspire me.

Statesmen model maturity, speak wisdom in gentle and measured words, and have moved beyond the drive of ambition, success, and power.

We seem to be short on statesmen and high on salesmen.

Statesmen don't self-promote. Salesmen tend to. Statesmen embrace contentment. Salesmen compete. Statesmen wait on Christ and find their security in Him. Salesmen rush ahead, lost in urgency, busyness ... and exhaustion.

Where are the statesmen? Of course, as we wonder we might also ask "Why am I not one?" and "What am I doing to support or nurture one?" Is it possible that the church has settled for something short of godliness, Christlikeness, and maturity?

I'm not suggesting that we don a veneer of false-spirituality. There's plenty of that already and veneers chip, crack, and quickly reveal what lies beneath. I'm looking for "the real deal." Are we willing to embrace the discipline, the correction, the mentoring, and the cost to become "the real deal" ourselves? Statesmanship apparently doesn't just happen.





Want to chat more on a topic? Hit "Reply" and share your thoughts.
I'm always happy to explore these issues further.

You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2010) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.