1 Timothy 5:9–16 (ESV)
Instructions for the Church (Part 2)
Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the
afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they
learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for
slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.
Today’s reading talks about taking care of widows and this can be applied to others. Notice that we are not to help all widows, but this tells us to be specific. We are to be careful on who we help and how we help. Notice verse
16 states “ If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.” As a pastor, I have had a lot of people stop by for help and a lot of telephone
calls asking for help. I will be honest in that I direct them to their own church for help. The pastor will know them better and will be able to reach out to them. If their own church won’t support them, then why should my church?
I know this sounds cold, but my small congregation cannot solve the world’s problems, nor can it be burdened with such quest. I do want to talk to their pastor and verify their story. If the story is true, then I will try to help them, but
if it is false... no way. Go back and reread today’s reading and see that we are not to help all people. That is why I believe in verifying their story or problems.
I pray: O
Lord, I know I want to help all people, but we do not have the resources. Help me to properly discern those in need from those who are abusing the system. Help me to help those who really need help and help me to not be an enabler of their problems.