I Timothy 5 today. Paul gives guidelines in this chapter on how respectfully to treat one another. For example, in verse 1, he instructs Christians never to speak harshly to an older person but treat him as if he was your own father. Notice the respect older, wiser people should receive in the church. Now think about how, in our society, youth is the most important thing (look at commercials). Another example of the world’s versus kingdom principles. Nevertheless, the opening verses are not just about how to treat older people but how to treat all members of the Body: respectfully, as your own brothers and sisters in your own nuclear family. Paul then continues with advice on how to treat widows, elders (the spiritual office of elders, those who hold it in the church). As you read the rest of this chapter, here are a few insights from my heart to yours:
-the church has a responsibility to widows who cannot care for themselves, especially older ones. Younger ones are encouraged to remarry and have children so as not to become busybodies. Older ones are a part of the church’s mission.
-Elders who work hard, especially in the ministry of teaching and preaching the Word, should be paid well. I don’t know what “well” means, but I would think it means they shouldn’t have to worry about daily affairs so they can concentrate on the ministry of the Word.
-those holding the office of elder should never have a charge brought against them unless there are two or three witnesses to accuse him. He should be treated with the upmost respect.
-if someone sins, he should be rebuked before the entire congregation to keep others from sinning (wow...I’ve not done this one very well).
-don’t appoint someone to be an elder too soon (it might puff them up in importance).
-a little wine to help stomach issues is ok!
-those who sin won’t get away with it. They’ll be either judged here or later (heaven?). Similarly, those who do good will be rewarded, either soon or later (heaven?). God is the Judge and Rewarder of all lives. Let’s trust him with how he runs his world.
I hope and pray all of you have a day today filled with God’s FAVOR!