The Daily Word: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021
1 Timothy 5:1-25
For full text click here.
Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Honor widows who are really widows. – 1 Tim. 5:3
I live in New York City. Every day I am approached on the street by multiple people asking for money. We know Scripture says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given” (Prov. 19:17). When you give financial assistance to someone who needs it, you’re really giving straight to God. When you “give” to the poor you are really “lending” to God, and God Himself will pay back what you have given! It is always better to lean in the direction of giving, and trust that God will repay what you have paid out.
But you must also trust God to give you discernment as to who is really poor and who is not! Look at our verse above. Scripture tells us to give to widows! But only those who are “really widows.” In his letter to Timothy, Paul was cautioning against spending God’s money (did you know your money is really His?) on people who didn’t really need it. Timothy was cautioned to avoid giving to “widows” who “lived in pleasure” (v 6). There were women who claimed to need financial assistance who spent it on the wrong things! Timothy was cautioned to avoid giving to widows “under sixty years old” (v 9), along with those who did not have a track record of “good works” (v 10). The worst-case outcome was that Timothy would give funds to people who didn’t really need them, and they would “learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house…saying things which they ought not” (v 13). Timothy would be trying to help, but he would really leave them worse off and not better.
So next time you see someone who needs financial assistance, be willing to help! But ask God if He wants you to help first. Sometimes we think we’re helping when we’re actually preventing people from learning how to trust God and be industrious. Treat every encounter as a unique scenario, and watch how the Holy Spirit moves when you ask Him what to do!
Father, should I help? Every time I encounter someone who needs help, I pray You would speak to me about what I should do. If You tell me to give, I will give! If you tell me to refuse, I will refuse. I just want to do what You ask, Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name.
© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.