Today’s Thoughts, 1 Timothy 5:8-15

By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 15, 2008

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. (1 Timothy 5:8-15)

Contrary to popular opinion, we do not find the church in the New Testament involved in inviting the unsaved into its midst. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The Christian was not to have anything to do with the non-Christian nor were they to make the church into anything that remotely resembled the world around them! Why? It would lead them into areas that were not directed towards worship and discipleship. In fact, Paul addresses some of these very issues in reminding Timothy that “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever!” A Christian family needs to take care of their family!

Paul gets pretty tough when he lays down some guidelines for Timothy concerning widows in his church: “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” How many widows, who belong to your church, meet these guidelines? I thought so, very few. But Paul goes on and says, “As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.” (1 Timothy 5:8-15) Can you imagine any pastor getting up in church today and saying such a thing? In our day we have to show concern and compassion for anyone, even the ungodly in our midst! Do you see Paul directing Timothy to do such a thing? Absolutely not!

Why would Paul say these things to Timothy? I believe it was because Timothy had allowed some of the women in his church to begin to control the spiritual and emotional attitude of the church in Ephesus. They were causing more harm than good. Enough of them had “become idlers, gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to!” Timothy needed to take control again and the church there needed to do what it was called to do in the first place. This church had become a social club instead of the body of Christ it was meant to be. Sound familiar? Far too many churches fall into this category today.

A church is not a weigh in station where the social gossip is to be preached, but rather the gospel of Christ! It is not a hearing aid station to sound off on every minor inconvenience that comes along either. The church is the called out of Christ. It is to be about discipling its members in the truths of the gospel to be the family of God it is supposed to be! Little one of the Lord, if you are a widow, a widower, a single parent, or a senior adult — live a godly life in the Lord and mentor others around you to live godly lives as well! As the family of God, we are to live like it. I pray your church does and that you do as well.

NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.

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