1 Timothy 5: Be A Family

Life in a family works best if everyone plays his and her role, and the younger the family the more adjustment there is to those roles we must play.

In today’s chapter Paul gives Timothy instructions for the life of the church.  The interesting part is that he uses the analogy of a family to describe how Christians should relate to each other:

Don’t rebuke a senior man in the church, but exhort him as you might do with your father — or, in the case of younger ones, with your brothers.  Treat the older women as mothers, and the younger ones as sisters, with all purity. (5:1-2)

If this church is a family, they are a young family, still figuring out how to play their roles.  Here are some of the instructions Paul gives:

  • Give older men and women respect (5:1-2)
  • Brothers and sisters of similar age are to be treated with kindness and purity (5:1-2)
  • Take care of your biological family financially before seeking assistance from the church (5:4, 16)
  • Don’t take advantage of the church financially just to support self-indulgence or laziness (5:6)
  • Understand realistically the sexual and companionship needs of single family members and do not consign them to a life of sacrifice too soon (5:11)
  • Bridle one’s tongue and occupy one’s hands lest gossip and meddling take over (5:13)
  • Take care of financially those who lead and educate the church family (5:17-18)
  • Trust the leaders strongly, but deal with sin seriously if necessary (5:19-20)
  • Banish favoritism (5:21)
  • Be discriminating in how quickly you yoke yourself to others (5:22)
  • Know that people’s true character will come out in the end (5:24-25)

The church as family is a metaphor that takes on special meaning for those of us for whom it has become a literal reality, not just an image.  Some have had to walk away from a biological family in order to follow Jesus.  Some of us have moved far away from blood and are left without those natural bonds in close proximity.  Others do not have functional, loving families of their own.  When this is the case, the bonds of love found in God’s family are especially dear.

What hit you in a new way in this chapter?  

Categories: 1 Timothy | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “1 Timothy 5: Be A Family

  1. “The sins of some people are blatant and march them right into court. The sins of others don’t show up until much later.”

    I wonder where I am right now with this principle? I have had to pay hard and fast for some of my sins in life. Are some of the issues I am dealing right now the “showing up” of past sins? Probably so.

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