“Pay careful attention to yourselves” (Acts 20:28). “Keep a close watch on yourself” (1 Tim 4:16). Paul gave the former of these commands to the Ephesian elders and the latter to Timothy who later served in Ephesus when several elders failed to heed such a command. As one can see, despite the slight difference in wording, the commands are essentially the same – pay attention to yourself, that is, your conduct, behavior, or way of life in Christ.
Acts 20:28 and 1 Tim 4:16 also command to pay attention to the church itself and our teaching. We should be equally invested in the people that we teach and our study of Scripture so that we can faithfully preach the Word. What I would like to do over the next few posts, however, is fill in the details of paying attention to one’s self. These posts will be a simple look at several passages in Scripture that directly concern the character of a biblical leader.
If you need some motivation as a pastor or Christian leader to read through this series, the contexts of the two commands above each yields a reason as to why it is so important to pay attention to ourselves. From Acts 20:28, we are to pay attention to ourselves because we have been appointed by the Spirit to serve God’s people who were purchased by the blood of Christ. We must serve with godliness if we are to serve God and His people properly. Similarly, from 1 Tim 4:16, we are to pay attention to ourselves because it is necessary to our salvation and the salvation of those who hear us.
In a day and age that seems to yield more temptation than ever, and in a day and age that loves to magnify the faults of leaders for better or worse, it is all the more vital that we pay attention to ourselves. I hope you’ll read the posts to come in the days ahead.