[A church leader must] have a good grip on himself, and have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it.
Titus 1:8-9, MSG*
The Spirit caught my attention with “have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth.” That expanded to include “have a good grip on yourself.”
For me, the reminder is to get and keep a good grip on myself—take troubling thoughts captive to Christ, use the armour of God, keep repeating the words He gives me about His shepherding and my freedom. Hold tightly to Scripture and use it wisely.
The challenge in the verse is to do this in cooperation with Him for my own healing and growth, and at the same time to keep alert to the wider picture to see where and how He wants to use me in others’ lives.
God my Shepherd, Healer and King, Your Word is the sword of truth. Help me use it wisely, in battle for myself and for others, as You equip and direct.
Here’s a classic hymn that has blessed me a few times this week (most notably at the close of this year’s Write! Canada conference… over 200 voices, singing exuberantly): “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” sung here by Chris Rice.
*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson