Friday, August 21, 2009

1 Timothy 5 -- Care of Others

As Paul continues his refresher course for Timothy he comes to talking about caring for widows in the church. It is safe to extend this to all people not just the widows, but that is the focus of Paul. The first responsibility of care is not on the church, rather on the family. A second point Paul makes is about who qualifies as a widow. This is not a wide open group. essentially those who can care for themselves should. The caution is when we help those who do not really need it we are actually doing harm.

Notice it is the whole church who is to be in the role of care for those in need, not just one or two people or the pastor. The elder referred to in the chapter is in the role of preaching and teaching. The people of the church are in the business of the care and support. It does not mean the elder never cares and supports, but that all the people of the church provide the care.

Contrary to what we might think the care of others is a little more complicated than once thought. It is not simply a matter of helping everyone the way they think they need to be helped. There are times when the best thing we can do is say no, and remind people of their responsibility to do their part.

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