Summary: This is the 7th sermon in the 1 Timothy series, "Order".
Series: Order [#7]
REALITY IS NOT A SHOW
This is the week where many young men break up with their girlfriends. The reason I know that is because Valentine’s Day is this week. Now, I’m not saying that is acceptable behavior; but it does save money. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day about love; but it has turned more into a day about drama.
If you are a person who enjoys drama, all you have to do is watch 1 of the many reality tv shows. Many of these shows depict an environment where everyone is supposedly looking for love. Instead, there is all sorts of promiscuity, fighting, and just ugly drama. I fear that many of our younger generations think that this is what relationships are like. Whether it is romantic relationships, family relationships, work relationships, or church relationships; you just keep fighting and moving from person to person until you find someone that can put up with you. This is not reality.
Our text is filled with real everyday information for the church. Paul was giving Timothy practical advice in how to deal with different groups of people within his congregation.
1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV)
“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
1. Everyone with respect.
If you really think about it, you can draw people to Christ or push them away from Christ based on how you treat them. If you show them respect, they are drawn to Christ and if you disrespect them, you push them away. Paul tells us that we should treat men who are older than us as we would treat our father. We should treat men who are younger than us as we would treat our brother. We should treat women who are older than us as we would treat our mother. We should treat women who are younger than us as we would treat our sister. Simply put, treat others as you would like to be treated.
1 Timothy 5:3-16 (NIV)
“Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame. 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. If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.”
2. Your family with respect.
There are many details in this passage. There is a focus in this section about how the widows of the church should be treated. It is important to notice that the discussion concerning widows is directed at natural families as well as church families. Paul tells us that the church should only be financially and physically responsible for those widows that are older and have no living relatives.
If there are living family members who can take care of the widow, then they should. In fact, if they will not take care of her, Paul says they are worse than “lost” people. Now, we must understand that when this was written, that widows had no social status. They were almost as good as dead. The church was actually fulfilling a role for these widows that had never been taken care of before.