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Being Responsible


              . . . 1 Timothy 5:1-8, 17-21


"Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the Word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17 (NKJV)


Paul admonishes the church leaders to care for others, especially widows and ministers.  The church is not a shrine for the morally perfect.  It is full of imperfect folks who often need forgiveness and correction.  The Bible contains clear instructions on how to treat the truly needy.


RESPECT ALL  (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

Paul challenged Timothy and Titus to continue denouncing false teachers.  They were to be careful and gentle, however, in dealing with widows and elders.  They were not to rebuke an elder but treat them as fathers or younger brothers.  Avoid using tones that are disrespectful.  Treat older women as sisters with purity.  Believers should respect them as family members to maintain harmonious relationships.


CARE FOR WIDOWS  (1 Timothy 5:3-8)

A "widow" is one whose husband, the sole breadwinner, had died and left his spouse without any means of support.  The church was to step in and help her.  Make sure these widows are genuinely in need.  Younger widows should remarry and not burden the church's food distributions.  Or, if they have children or grandchildren, let these family members take care of their own families.  Verse 8 stated that if anyone does not provide for his own, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.  The church is to help widows who are genuinely in need.


CARE FOR ELDERS [PASTORS]  (1 Timothy 5:17-21)

On the positive side, Paul urged Timothy to give double honor to those who work hard at preaching and teaching.  Using a well-known proverb, Paul said, "Don't muzzle the ox while he is treading the grain."  Verify any accusations against them by two or three witnesses.  Those with less than honorable intentions can use gossip or slander to attack the minister.  If the charges are true, rebuke so the rest will be afraid.  Above all, do nothing out of favoritism. 


Charles Foxworth


Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana

Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana 




eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No. 06-51G -- Archived 

Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher

Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All Rights


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