Biblical Leadership Traits - Respectable

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits


1Timothy 3:2



“Respectable” is the common translation of this quality (ESV/NIV/NASV). The KJV has “good behavior”. It is the adjective ko,smioj. The only other occurrence is NAU 1 Timothy 2:9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments. But note that the related infinite of kosme,w  is also used – “to adorn.” See below.

However the related adjective kosmiko,j  is also used twice:

NAU Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age

NAU Hebrews 9:1 ¶ Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary.

In fact this is the family of words based on ko,smoj normally translated “world”. It basic meaning is really something like “orderly” or “well arranged”. So it is a general reference to the world as an orderly well designed and functioning and structured universe (various lexicons). A practical example is NAU 1 Peter 3:3 Your adornment must not be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses.

In the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) it uniformly means “adornment”; for instance in reference to the stars (heavenly hosts) always being in the same arrangement - NAU Deuteronomy 17:3 and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host, which I have not commanded. It later came to mean order or arrangement (Trench 214, 344).

All of this is to say that the key application of this term to men who wish to be leaders is that they be organized in personal and public affairs.

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits


1Timothy 3:2



What have you found to be the most difficult obstacle to becoming organized?

What tips can you share regarding how to become well ordered regarding your daily schedule? Long range tasks, projects, or goals?

What specific questions would you ask a man in order to get an idea of whether or not he is “respectable”?

Prospective officers at FBC are only asked two questions:

Do you consider yourself to be organized, especially at work where the time pressure is often great?

Do you meet deadlines in a timely manner; are you “on time” for meetings and engagements?

Noted lexicologist, RC Trench, observes regarding the quality in 1 Tim 3:2, “The well ordering is not of dress and demeanor only, but of the inner life. (Synonyms of the NT 346). What is he getting at and do you agree?

The way we dress, our speech, our lawn, the paint job on our house and any other external items are important. However, it is much more than that! We must be the same in our entire life and our inner life must match our outer life.

Identity one area in which you’d like to become “well ordered”. Ask some one close to you whether or not they would put this on top of your “get organized” list. Then create a plan of action designed to lead you toward becoming well ordered in this area. Include milestones that will be measures of success. Include this as an accountable item for your meetings with your accountability partner.

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2018. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source