1 Timothy 5:17–25 (ESV)
Instructions for the Church
17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox
when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for
those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing
nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the
sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous,
and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
The term “elder” comes from the word presbyteros and is described
in today’s reading “those who labor in preaching and teaching. So, the term used here means “pastors”. Pastors come under a lot of fire and Paul writes “19 Do not admit a charge against
an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” I know a few pastors who have lost their calling
over false testimony. Even when it was cleared up, the damage was done. This ties into the Eighth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Accusations are destructive. Make certain you have your
story straight before you accuse anyone and do it in person, not by telling others… whether you are a pastor or not. We all need to remember the Eighth Commandment is our current daily lives, no matter what our occupation may be.
I pray: O Lord, help us to honor you by always being truthful… especially since you are the Truth. Help us to fight gossip and to build each other up. Amen.