Sunday, 14 January 2018
Honor widows who are really widows. 1 Timothy 5:3
Paul’s directive here is an important precept to understand. His words, “Honor widows,” indicate more than just giving them respect and attention, but actually includes care through either money or direct support. It is the precept seen in Acts 6 –
“Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists,because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.” Acts 6:1
This is what Paul means through “honor.” The same thought is brought into our language with the term honorarium. The ideas are united. Paul meant that as the church had been caring for widows, this was to be the case with those in Ephesus as well. If they needed care, they were to be provided with that care. However, this was not a blanket admonition for Timothy to hand out money or food to every old lady who showed up at the door. He will set more restrictions on this type of thing in the verses to come. He also continues with, “who are really widows.”
His words here indicate what he will define in the next verses.
Life application: The church should be a caring entity that is willing to help those who truly have needs, but it is also to be an entity that expects standards of those it cares for. It is great that many churches head out and help the homeless, the downtrodden, and the like. It is noble indeed. But the church must always put Scripture first when handing out its resources in various ways. Much of what is done in the “social-gospel” churches of today has no basis at all in biblically-based Christianity. Be wise and discerning… know your Bible.
Lord God, help us as Christians to be kind, generous, and willing to help others. But Lord, help us to be wise and discerning concerning the extent to which we will do so. May our charity be in accord with Your word, and not simply an arbitrary type of charity that demands, or offers, unrealistic things. In other words, may we know Your word, adhere to what it expects, and follow through with those things in particular. In this, you will surely be glorified. Amen.