A CALLING PRESERVING PURITY
Friday, 22 June 2018
1 Timothy 5 : 1-21
“Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.” (1 Timothy 5:1-2 NKJV)
In our life we have followed in someone’s steps or have someone we closely follow. It could be a parent, a teacher, a pastor or a hero: none of us are the first to walk this track. Similarly, we leave footprints that guide others—it could be a child, a friend, or a new believer. It’s the principle of discipleship. Here we see that Timothy followed the footsteps of Paul, his father in the faith. Paul penned Timothy, giving him practical advice on how to lead a church and the different sections within. As a young minister, Timothy was faced with all sorts of challenges. Paul patiently instructs him step by step, which in turn are instructions for us.
In Chapter 5, the apostle addresses certain continuing problems in the church at Ephesus. Timothy had to face problems of discipline - even discipline of elders, as we will see in the latter half of this chapter. Apostle opens this chapter with a general word about how to deal with people as part of People Management (in modern term).
Verse 1: Do not rebuke:
(1) an older man, but exhort him as a father,
(2) younger men as brothers,
(3) older women as mothers,
(4) younger women as sisters, with all purity.
The above list covered the entire flock except the children.
How you look at other people is very important. Paul tells this young pastor to look at older men as he would look at his own father; to view them as men with some degree of experience, who have survived crises in their lives, who also have developed a certain degree of understanding and wisdom.
Paul again tells Timothy to view young men as though they are his brothers. That relationship speaks of openness and honesty with one another, and yet with respect and concern for each other.
Paul doesn’t stop there; he tells Timothy to treat the older women as mothers. They are to be treated with great respect for the wisdom and love shown around.
Finally, Paul advices Timothy, the young pastor, to treat younger women as sisters (very sensitive group in any society) -- with love and concern, but certainly without any wrong motive. That is why Paul adds the words, "in all purity." A young pastor is to be pure in his intentions, his attitudes and his dealings with the younger women in a congregation. Effectively some of the values and principles laid down by Jesus in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5-7 chapters are emphasized here.
We (the modern society) have lost so much of the interrelationships between generations. God is reminding us to face up again to the need to live together, to care for one another, and to enjoy the life in unity and fellowship. There is nothing more beautiful in this world than a family that has learned how to love and live together. The question today is – do we practice it? The nuclear family concept has very much crept into the lifestyle of modern generation – Everything is “me, my, mine….” This is what the apostle is trying to purge.
Every family has to face these problems, but the quest is to work it out as best as we can, in terms of our own given situation. Everything has to be done in Christ’s love. We all need to grow and mature in this area. The Church Leaders also will have to rise up and build family values and be bold enough to admonish the congregation in godly perspective. Growth and expansion of any ministry will become futile if the foundation has cracks.
Prayer: God, you are the one who gave me/us the family, relatives, the society and the church. Give us the wisdom to discern the best choice to live up to the kingdom values and principles in ‘all its purity’ in this decaying age. In Jesus’ name.
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