1 不要嚴厲責備老年人，卻要勸他好像勸父親；勸青年人好像勸弟兄； 2 勸年老的婦人好像勸母親；存著純潔的心，勸青年女子好像勸姊妹。3 要敬重供養那些無依無靠的寡婦。 4 寡婦若有兒孫，就應當讓兒孫先在自己家裡學習孝道，報答親恩，因為這在神面前是蒙悅納的。
7 這些事你要囑咐她們，使她們無可指摘。 8 人若不看顧自己的人，尤其不看顧自己一家的人，就是背棄信仰，比不信的人還壞。 9 寡婦登記，年紀必須到達六十歲，只作過一個丈夫的妻子， 10 並且要有善行的見證：就如養育兒女，接待客旅，替聖徒洗腳，救濟困苦的人，盡力行各樣的善事等。
1Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. 3Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
7Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame. 8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
- A church is judged by its care of its most vulnerable. At the time the letter was written, widows were the epitome of need and dependency; therefore, 1 Timothy expends much text dealing with the community’s responsibility for them. As Christians we are obligated to cultivate those Spiritual Disciplines that constantly call to mind the needs of the most vulnerable and form our lives in service to those needs.
- The definition of “service” according the Spiritual Formation Bible is: Loving, thoughtful, active promotion of the good of others and the causes of God in our world, through which we experience the many little deaths of going beyond ourselves. What practical endeavors should I make in this area? Is there a way that my small group can actively take steps to serve others?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2012 “Spiritual Journal” book.