Summary: Being human is generally a good thing. The temptation in our day is to manipulate or engineer human nature and deny its realities. But a church is about real people, redeemed by Jesus, but fully human — even more human — because of that redemption.
Addressing the Realities of Life
1. Some people have a sanitized view of life. Life, however, is often less glamourous.
'Cash, check or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. 'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.
'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'”
2. Some Christians want a life that is neat, packaged, and predictable. But what is, is. And life is not that. We must all learn to roll with the punches of human nature.
Main Idea: Being human is generally a good thing. The temptation in our day is to manipulate or engineer human nature and deny its realities. But a church is about real people, redeemed by Jesus, but fully human — even more human — because of that redemption.
TS———————->> Let us look at some realities we must embrace.
I. Reality One: The People of a Church Should Relate As a FAMILY, Not a Club or Corporation (1-2)
Even though the Church is part of the Kingdom of God, it is to be a family.
The idea of a church family has always been displaced by a highly-marketed, consumer-driven not-for-profit business. The relational aspect is missing in many churches, but is something worth working at retaining and growing.
It is not so natural to treat non-family members as family. E.g., newly married getting used to in-laws. Of all my wife’s relatives, I like me the best. Intentional.
But people have to feel you out, slowly. My problem: too relaxed too early.
A. We are to encourage older men with respect, as FATHERS (1a)
Age tends to breed bleakness, hence grumpy old men. But behind those grumpy dispositions are men who have been beaten down, disappointed, and broken.
B. We are to treat men our age or younger as BROTHERS (1b) --respect
C. We are to treat older women as MOTHERS (2a) — warmth
D. We are to treat women our age or younger PURELY, as SISTERS (2b) —caution
This text is written upward for Timothy, who is young. It doesn’t tell old leaders how to treat youngsters, but the trajectory is like sons and daughters.
II. Reality Two: The Church Must Care, but LIMIT Who and How It Helps (3-11)
A. The Issue here is DESTITUTE widows
• To honor: timáo Timwqeos it implies compensation
B. Ancient culture: No EMPLOYMENT opportunities
C. Issue is ABSOLUTE poverty, not relative poverty
D. Financial help RATIONED because resources are limited
E. LESSONS for helping widows we can still apply
1. We are responsible to provide for our own FAMILY members (4, 8)
2. The church is the last, not first, RESORT (16b)
3. The church is not primarily a RELIEF or charity organization (16b)
Supporting is a burden, not the mission
4. Because there are always more needs than provision, we must be SELECTIVE
5. There are other forms of help we can OFFER
James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. “
How to Solve the Problem of Crowded Jails in the UK -
Let us put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home. This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.
They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc. and they'd receive money instead of paying it out. They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.
Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them. A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell. They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
..... And the criminals?
The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out. [http://www.guy-sports.com/funny/grumpy_old_men.htm]
Application: Make honoring widows a part of your routine. Take your kids with you to nursing homes when visiting relatives/friends. Acclimate them to caring for the elderly. Get to know people of other generations. First came to HPC: young people left because too many old people; more recent years, other way around…
III. Reality Three: Traditional WOMANHOOD is Highly Valuable and RESPECTED (9-16)
We live in a day where it is almost taboo to single out men or women; everything is unisex and persons. But let us — figuratively — stick our tongues out at this taboo.