1 Timothy 5
In this chapter Paul is telling Timothy how to treat others in his congregation. He specifically addresses how to treat people who are older, widowed as well as the younger generation who may also be widowed. First he tells Timothy to treat the older men with respect as he would a father, treat younger men as a brother, older women as mothers and younger women as sisters. He also addresses that if there is a member of the congregation who is “truly a widow” meaning she has no one for the church to care for her. But that if an older woman or man has family that the family should care for them.
Paul also addresses that a younger widow who can care for themself or remarry should do so that it is not the church’s responsibility to care for them. Paul is saying in this chapter that there is always work to be done. The older people who truly need help from the church should be helped but in so doing they still have responsibilities to the church in prayer, if nothing else. Paul has set out here as well as Jesus did during his earthly ministry that it is a good thing to work and to not be idle. I’ve often heard the phrase “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”.
Another theme I have seen in this chapter is gossip and accusations.
“Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. (1 Tim. 5:19)
We should be always careful about what we say as well as about what we believe. Just because one person said it does not mean it to be truth. Are there witnesses? Is there evidence? We have to be very careful of prejudging and showing partiality.
“Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (1 Tim. 5:22)
And here we are, the sum of it all. “keep yourself pure”. You know most of the time if we just simply worry about ourself then the rest will work out and I think that is one of the things Paul is telling Timothy here. Don’t judge too quickly the actions of others. One man may come in and act rightly in the beginning and yet he does not have the depth of character to sustain his actions and yet the other man may have people gossiping and telling all their sins outright and yet, the heart and what lies deep may be more pure than the one who looks to be acting rightly. It takes time to truly learn the character of another.
The last two verses of this chapter could sum up the whole.
“The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (1 Tim. 5:24-25)
Another saying I have heard a lot “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. We must realize that making a judgment with one look can result in judging wrongly. We shouldn’t judge others too quickly. What is in a persons character will not remain hidden whether it be bad character or good. If a person is in the habit of sin and bad character, time will bring it to the surface, but the same with good works and good character. Time will be the true test to that as well.
Please pray for small businesses and the service industries today. But not just pray, shop local if you can and tip well if you can!