8/17 2 Corinthians 12:15

15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?

There is a noticeable difference between God's leaders and self-appointed leaders. God-ordained leaders lay down their lives for the sheep. Self-appointed leaders ask you to lay down your life for their next project. Godly leaders long to see you grow spiritually and deepen your walk with Jesus. Carnal leaders are more concerned about advancing their fame.

Paul gave his finances and time to see the individuals under his care grow in Christlikeness. He gladly paid any cost he could to see the churches established. Worldly leaders want you to pay the cost to advance their cause.

Paul obviously loved the church in Corinth more than the super-apostles did. Did that result in the church loving him less? The sheepish nature of the church, if not gifted with discernment, can cause the church to honor the proud and arrogant who have strong personalities. We must always remember that love is the first fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It is the Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31). It is the stamp of Christ on the leaders He ordains.

Consider: When your church is considering appointing an elder, look for this key quality of love. Are you most gladly spending and being spent for the souls God has put in your care?