Summary: Paul lists different people groups in the church and then advises Timothy how to treat them. 1- The older men 2- The younger men 3- The older women 4- The younger women 5- The widows
INTRO.- We must admit there is a discrimination in our world: racial, political, religious, financial, and any other kind you want to talk about.
ILL.- For example, I remember back when I was in elementary (or grade school, as we called it) that there were a few kids whom we considered to be less fortunate, meaning, we thought they were poor. At least, poorer than we were.
I remember this one girl who seemed to come to school somewhat poorly dressed and a bit dirty. She didn’t do well in school either. She always seemed to have a hard time reading and making a decent grade. So in some ways she was “looked down on” by some. I do remember, however, she seemed to always be happy and she could run faster and jump higher than practically any boy in the class! Or the whole grade school.
That caught my attention! I thought, “Wow! She is a fast runner.” And that was important to me back then. Getting good grades wasn’t nearly as important as athletic ability.
I don’t know what happened to her but I do hope that life was good to her and that God blessed her in many ways. Only He knows.
Isn’t it a shame how we discriminate in life? It happens in the world and sometimes, it even happens in the church and that’s one place where it shouldn’t happen!
I’ve seen people in churches avoided by others because they had less materially speaking or maybe came from the wrong end of town or came from broken homes, etc. WHAT A SHAME!
The church is made up of all kinds of people. Look around: do you see anyone just like you? You may find someone who has similar interests or style or tastes, but no one is exactly like you. But all must be treated fairly and graciously.
PROP.- Paul lists different people groups in the church and then advises Timothy how to treat them.
1- The older men
2- The younger men
3- The older women
4- The younger women
5- The widows
1. THE OLDER MEN
1 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father.
I don’t know much about exhorting my father, but he most certainly exhorted me in life! Didn’t your daddy do that for you as well?
Of course, the word “exhort” can carry several different meanings. One is caution or warn. And my daddy warned me many times: “Pay attention to what you’re doing.” And I don’t remember what else he warned me about. Oh yes, I got in big trouble one time for not coming straight home after school. Although he didn’t warn me verbally on that occasion. It was a much stronger exhortation. It was a physical exhortation!
ILL.- I was talking to my son-in-law on the phone one time and I could hear Hayden (nearly three years old) in the background doing something and it must have been something naughty because her daddy said, “Hayden, you are in trouble.”
Then I told him to tell her that I would have to spank her when I came for a visit. He told Hayden, “Papa is going to spank you when he comes to see you.” Her response was, “NO!”
Obviously, there are times when children, toddlers, etc. need some exhortation in life in the form of some kind of discipline. I needed it and got it and you probably did too. And no matter how sweet they may seem to be at church, they may be different at home.
As far as exhorting an older man in the sense of warning, I’m not sure. One way it might be appropriate is in preaching the Word and then it must still be done with grace or graciousness.
The word “exhort” also carries the meaning of “encourage.” Now that’s more like it. More preferable.
We all need to encourage one another in the faith as best we can. One way I can do this is through preaching. I want to do the best I can.
I also want to encourage individually. Whenever I see someone do something I try to remember and exhort or encourage them. “You did a good job,” etc.
Don’t be harsh toward older men. Why? They probably don’t deserve it. Some may, of course, but rather exhort them as if he were your father. How would you do that?
If my father were living he would be 100 years old and I would say, “Dad, I love you very much.” Perhaps this is how we should exhort older men. “I love you, brother.”
2. THE YOUNGER MEN
Treat younger men as brothers. Why? Because they are your brother!
I would treat younger men as younger brothers, because they are brothers and they are younger than me. I’m a senior citizen, full-fledged.