DAILY WORD 11/4/20
11. The younger widows should not be on the list, because their physical desires will overpower their devotion to Christ and they will want to remarry.
12. Then they would be guilty of breaking their previous pledge.
13. And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t.
14. So I advise these younger widows to marry again, have children, and take care of their own homes. Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them.
15. For I am afraid that some of them have already gone astray and now follow Satan.
16. If a woman who is a believer has relatives who are widows, she must take care of them and not put the responsibility on the church. Then the church can care for the widows who are truly alone.
1 Timothy 5:11–16 NLT
Today’s Passage continues Paul’s instructions to Timothy as he teaches him about the Standards of Christian Leadership and the Requirements of the saints as it comes to Church Decorum. He has been speaking on widows and in yesterday’s Passage, he covered the older women that have lost their husbands.
Today he tells Timothy what is to be done with those that have lost their husbands while they are still young. Paul has given his young protégé instructions indicating that widows who are older and who have no family to take care of them, are to be cared for by the Church. Those that have surviving family are to be cared for by them. However, women who are younger and have lost their husbands are not to be placed on that list.
Knowing that this may end up being seen as a controversial decision, Paul immediately offers Timothy several reasons for this pronouncement. The first thing he mentions has to do with lust. He warns Timothy that younger widows may want to get married again and lose their passion for Christ and service. We see that Paul has required that those who are widowed and are being cared for by the Church have responsibilities for service within the congregation, and younger women may stray from those duties in time due to their fleshly desires.
Another reason he excludes these younger widows from the Church’s Charity list is with all the extra time and leisure they are granted some of them will potentially become idle gossiping busybodies causing trouble with their rumors and problems both within the church and in the random homes they visit in their plentiful free time.
Paul has, at this point, been the Leader of this new Christian Faith for some time and his experience is paying dividends as he prepares Timothy for things that he would have had to work through on his own, figuring out how to deal with them without any outside assistance.
As any Good Leader would, Paul is ensuring that Timothy has every tool and preparation that he will need to accomplish his Commission successfully with the least concerns possible. He is using his own failures to strengthen Timothy’s Leadership. Failure in Leadership is not the end game as long as you are willing and wise enough to learn from it.
Paul then offers Timothy his conclusion as it comes to the younger widows. He tells him that he would rather that instead of having the Church care for them and potentially have them cause issues that would grow into struggles, that they should remarry and raise children, guiding their households along the Right and Godly Path.
He tells Timothy that this plan of action will keep the troubles that he has already seen occur in other places from entangling the church at Ephesus and complicating his Leadership there. He also tells him that it will keep the enemies of the Church from having any ammunition with which to cast aspersions at them.
Proving my point about Paul’s experience and his learning from his own mistakes in this matter, in Verse 15, he mentions that there are some that have already “turned aside after Satan” due to this very issue. He wants to make sure that Timothy does not follow in his flawed footsteps and that he is well equipped to Lead by means of Paul’s own failures.
As he concludes this portion of his lessons, Paul tells Timothy that if any woman in the Church has a widow in their family, she is to care for them herself. This way, the Church can focus on those women that have no other recourse to care for themselves. He sees the issue and is giving Timothy the tools to deal with it before it becomes a problem for him.
This is the essence of Good Leadership. It is not necessarily about never failing. It is about failing, identifying the obstructions to forward progress, and then addressing the obstacle so that it will never cause the same challenge again. Leaders fail, even in the Church. It is what you do after you fail that makes the difference.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday and Stay Safe out there!