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1 Timothy 3:6

ESV He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
NIV He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
NASB and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into condemnation incurred by the devil.
CSB He must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and incur the same condemnation as the devil.
NLT A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.
KJV Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

What does 1 Timothy 3:6 mean?

This verse adds one additional qualification to those given for elders in verses 1 through 7. New believers are not prepared to lead other believers. This involves more than just their spiritual knowledge. It also speaks to their spiritual maturity. As Paul warns, giving too much authority too early can result in arrogance. His phrasing indicates a believer who is too quickly placed into a position of leadership can become proud and fall into sin. Christians are not perfect and often continue to struggle with sinful habits after coming to faith in Christ.

Even the most mature believers wrestle with temptation (Romans 7:18–20). Even Jesus faced Satan's temptations (Matthew 4:1–11), though He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). More mature believers are better equipped to teach and equip members of the church. They are also more experienced in dealing with the temptations and stresses of the Christian life. And, they are more aware of their own shortcomings, so they are less likely to become arrogant. For these reasons, a person who is new in their faith should not be given spiritual authority over others.
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