1 Timothy 5:1-12
5 Do 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 purity. 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, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, 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 Lord’s people, 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.
Do you ever find some people are easier to love than others? Some people are naturally sweet, lovely, pleasing, calm and joyous. Others are not so pleasant, and their behaviour and countenance is far from well, let’s just say ummmm…not that great?! I remember being a kid and looking up to the adults around me, teachers, parents, my friend’s parents, Aunts and Uncles etc. I do definitely remember thinking that they at times were not perfect or maybe didn’t act in a way that I would expect an adult to. Or perhaps I knew definitely they were doing something that was unkind, untrue or hurtful. There were also times when these same people were amazing, lovely, encouraging, humorous and kind.
I guess what this experience taught me is that no one is perfect, we all fall short of the glory of God, we all need grace and patience.
It’s a daily challenge for me, as an adult, to love and respect those around me and look at them with the eyes Jesus would have for them. To regard people in the highest of respect – God himself would want me to do this. In this passage, Paul writes to give respect overall to all, and instructs us how to look upon others with love, not rebuke.
Dear God, thank you for putting people in our lives to live as a community together. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to learn from others and also have respect and patience.
Thank you that your grace gives an example to aspire to in our daily interactions with others. Amen
Written by Susannah Ware