Our scout troop is examining what the Bible would describe as a Godly man, and we’re comparing that to what our scouting ideals suggest an ideal scout should act like. [Note: you don’t have to be Christian to be a scout, but in our troop, our families do share a common faith so we often try to compare how scout ideals and our shared Christian ideals parallel each other]
In the Bible, the apostle Paul wrote letters to Timothy and Titus describing the ideal attributes of a man. While he was specifically writing to offer advice and direction on finding men who’d be good candidates to hold pastoral or teaching jobs within the church, Gene Getz, the author of the book “The Measure of a Man”, felt that it was a good list for all men.
This evening we are taking a look at what it means to be a man who is “respectable”.
In 1 Tim 3:2, Paul includes in his list of attributes the phrase “respectable”. This is sometimes translated in various versions as being “of good behavior” or “well behaved”.
The modern dictionary also provides a parallel definition – “fit to be seen” or “presentable”.
What do you think it means to be respectable, and why would it matter? Why include it on a list of attributes for “Godly men”?
I think a respectable person is someone who:
- people would take seriously when seeking advice or counsel.
- is likely to be listened to and accepted at face value.
- exhibits a certain level of authority when they appear on the scene.
- acts in a consistent and largely predictable manner.
Does scouting encourage its members to be respectable?
Think about the Scout Oath’s beginning statement; “On my honor, I will do my best…” This addresses a fundamental theme that “my honor” is largely based on how others see me act out what’s truly important to me. If I follow through with my pledges of duty to God, Others and Self, I will likely be judged as “respectable” or “of good behavior”. If what really motivates me is something other than those duties, it will be equally apparent.
In terms of duty to others, Scouts are called to help other people at all times, participate in their government as citizens, and obey the Scout Law. Do you think that practicing the Scout Law consistently would be likely to earn a scout the label of “respectable” – why or why not? Similarly, do you feel that participating as an active citizen (regardless of your views on various topics) and helping other people at all times would earn a label of respectable?
If you follow through on your commitment to self – to be strong, awake and unbending in your moral convictions – would other people call you respectable, or “fit to be seen”?
How do you feel about scouts and adult scouters who do not work very hard to follow through on these commitments? What could you do as a scout to help them recapture an active pursuit of their scouting ideals?