(1 Timothy 5:1-16) – Widows indeed.
Paul continues to give direction to Pastor Timothy concerning different situations that would arise in the church.
Apparently, there was a need to give some organization to the process of helping widows in the church. What should the church’s help look like for those in a place of destitution?
What keeps coming up for me is the desire for God’s people to step up in their personal lives with regard to compassion for others.
That may not seem to be terribly profound, but I guess what I’m really getting at is this…
We so often rely on systems and institutions to take care of those in need. We sometimes donate to causes and places and feel as if our personal responsibility has been met.
God wants more. We can’t pass the buck to the “somebody” else who’s doing God’s work when God Himself brings someone in need right in front of us (see the parable of the Good Samaritan).
That is why Paul tells Timothy that BEFORE the church got involved with taking care of a widow (the care was all-encompassing in nature), he wanted the extended families of these widows to step up personally and practice the godliness that all of us must strive for.
In addition to that, God understood that some might want to take advantage of the generosity of the church. If someone were to succeed, it would hinder the churches from taking care of those who really needed it.
So He sets up some parameters that ensure that those that the church is taking care of are truly in deep and desperate need. This would include widows with no living relatives and too old to care for themselves.
If someone was able to be blessed by family, get married, or even take care of themselves, then the church was absolved of their responsibility to care for them in this all-encompassing fashion.
They would minister to all as God intended, and to some more uniquely because of desperate circumstances. Think of the wisdom here!
My main point that I want to take away from all this is that I have a stewardship that has been given to me. There are people in my circle who God has given me to care for. I better do my best to do just that.
I can’t always say “somebody will do it.” For my circle, I am the “somebody”