Attitudes towards people in Church

Thoughts on 1 Timothy 5-6:2

A timely reminder.

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5‬:‭1-2‬ ESV)

Somehow, since I’m a bit/lot older now, I would sometimes assume that I could just rebuke (with love, of course) older brothers in the faith with straight to the point, guns blazing, honesty. Anyway we’re all adults – and mature believers – aren’t we?

What a reminder from God that with older men I should encourage rather than rebuke. I agree – that’s a much better approach!

The rest talks about treating members of the Church as one would with his own family. This would be troublesome for some people, particularly those with “different” family dynamics.

I wonder though, different family dynamics aside, do we all have the same basic idea of how we should treat fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters? Is the image of the ideal family something God has impressed in every person or is that something we pick up based on culture or environment? Both?

Paul then goes on about widows – with much detail. But the general theme for me, I believe, is this: the Church should care for one another, but this should not be an excuse for some to be lazy. Take care of yourself as much as you can, take care of your family as much a you can. Desire to be a blessing to the Church, not to be a burden.

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5‬:‭17‬ ESV)

Preaching and teaching is (hard) labor. A lot of prayer and preparation, and spiritual battles, happen before a message is given. We should honor those who have devoted time and energy into seeking God’s message and delivering them to the Church. 

And for employees such as myself:

Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭1-2‬ ESV)

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