In The Word
Read: 1 Timothy 5:1-6:2
5 Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, 2 the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.
3 Honor widows who are widows indeed; 4 but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.5 Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. 6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, 12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. 13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. 16 If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.
17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. 21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. 22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
24 The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. 25 Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.
Instructions to Those Who Minister
6 All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.2 Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Paul instructed Timothy how to minister to the various types of people in the church, urging him to love, honor, and serve all the people, regardless of their age or gender. Since the church is a family, a wise standard is to treat the older members with respect like mothers and fathers, and handle the younger members in purity like brothers and sisters. One group Timothy had to work with was the elders who helped him teach and serve the people. Church leaders and volunteers are critical for a church’s success in carrying out God’s mission, since one person cannot do it all.
Sometimes, when people work together, there are disagreements and conflicts, simply because people have different ideas, opinions, and personalities. Paul helped Timothy to understand there is a proper way to resolve conflicts so that a disagreement does not divide people. The first step is to get all possible facts, and if there is an accusation there must be at least two witnesses. Then the matter must be investigated thoroughly to find the truth of the matter before drawing any conclusions and rejecting any partiality, opinion, hearsay, and rumors.
Have you found yourself in a disagreement with someone? Do not let that disagreement divide your relationship, but go to them privately to discuss the matter and find out why they feel the way they do. Do everything possible to resolve the disagreement and be at peace with them since they are your family.