1 Timothy 5:1–25 (NIV84)
Advice About Widows, Elders and Slaves
5Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 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. 5 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. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 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.
9 No widow may be put on
the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 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.
11 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. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 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. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already
turned away to follow Satan.
16 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.
17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy
of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” 19 Do not entertain
an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.
21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.
22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
24 The sins of some men are obvious, reaching
the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.
Christians interact with one another in ways that are honorable and pure, they beautifully reflect God and the faith they confess. But the Church is burdened and liable to be reviled by unbelievers when honor and purity are lacking. Our dear Lord Jesus has
made every Christian worthy of eternal honor by His sacrificial death and resurrection. Through faith in Him, even dishonorable sinners are regarded as God’s pure and beloved children.
I pray: Lord Jesus, turn us from our self-indulgent ways, that we may selflessly give honor and care to those whom You have given us to love and cherish. Amen.
A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing
House, 2009), 2076.