biblcal Leadership Traits - Not Double Tongued

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits

Not Double Tongued

1 Timothy 3:8



NAU 1 Timothy 3:8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,

BGT 1 Timothy 3:8 Διακόνους ὡσαύτως σεμνούς, μὴ διλόγους, μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας, μὴ αἰσχροκερδεῖς,

The derivation of this term is = dij twice plus the verb legw = to say or speak or the noun logoj = word. This is the only NT use. Note the LXX at Prov 11:13 “a talebearer reveals secrets.” A sampling of lexicons is helpful:

  1. Friberg 6902 strictly saying the same thing twice; hence, of speaking one thing and meaning another hypocritical, insincere, deceitful 
  2. Louw-Nida 88.235pertaining to contradictory behavior based upon pretense or hypocrisy - 'double-tongued, two-faced, hypocritical.'
  3. Thayer 1424 1. saying the same thing twice, repeating: Pollux 2, 118, p. 212, Hemst. edition; whence διλόγειν and διλογία, Xenophon, de re equ. 8, 2. 2. double-tongued, double in speech, saying one thing with one person, another with another (with intent to deceive): 1 Tim. 3:8.*

The basic idea is the person who says one thing and means another or says conflicting things to different audiences about the same matter. Thus, he is not genuine in his speech. He is a hypocrite in his dealings with people – dishonest.

Why is this so important for deacons? First, because of the intermediate position of deacons. They are often the bridge between the elders and the people. He has to be conveying the same things to both groups. Second, because the deacon would normally have the ear of the congregation because of his constant dealing with them. Third, the deacon often deals with money.


  1. How do you deal with the tension of living with your wife as one yet honoring the requirement often made of leaders to keep confidences?
  1. Cite either hypothetical or real situations where a leader who is double tongued could cause serious problems. What if the leaders did not have a problem with this matter but his wife did?
  1. Of all the problems we can have with the tongue, why is this defect so significant?

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