Rules for Living with Others
1Do not speak angrily to an older man, but talk to him as if he were your father. Treat younger men like brothers. 2Treat older women like mothers, and younger women like sisters. Always treat them in a pure way.
3Take care of widows who are all alone. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, the first thing they need to learn is to do their duty to their own family. When they do this, they will be repaying their parents or grandparents. That pleases God. 5If a widow is all alone and without help, then she puts her hope in God and prays night and day for God’s help. 6But the widow who uses her life to please herself is really dead while she is still living. 7Tell the believers there to do these things so that no one can say they are doing wrong. 8A believer should take care of his own relatives, especially his own family. If he does not do that, he has turned against the faith. He is worse than a person who does not believe in God.
9To be on your list of widows, a woman must be 60 years old or older. She must have been faithful to her husband. 10She must be known as a woman who has done good works. By this, I mean good works such as raising her children, accepting visitors in her home, washing the feet of God’s people, helping those in trouble, and using her life to do all kinds of good deeds.
11But do not put younger widows on that list. After they give themselves to Christ, they are often pulled away from him by their physical desires. And then they want to marry again. 12And they will be judged for not doing what they first promised to do. 13Also, those younger widows begin to waste their time going from house to house. They begin to gossip and busy themselves with other people’s lives. They say things that they should not say. 14So I want the younger widows to marry, have children, and take care of their homes. If they do this, then no enemy will have any reason to criticize them. 15But some of the younger widows have already turned away to follow Satan.
16If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, then she should care for them herself. The church should not have to care for them. Then the church will be able to care for the widows who have no living family.
17The elders who lead the church well should receive great honor. Those who work hard by speaking and teaching especially should receive great honor. 18For the Scripture says, “When an ox is working in the grain, do not cover its mouth to keep it from eating.”# Quotation from Deuteronomy 25:4. And the Scripture also says, “A worker should be given his pay.”# Quotation from Luke 10:7.
19Do not listen to someone who accuses an elder, unless there are two or three other persons who say he did wrong. 20Tell those who keep on sinning that they are wrong. Do this in front of the whole church so that the others will have a warning.
21Before God and Jesus Christ and the chosen angels, I command you to do these things. Be careful to do them without showing favor to anyone.
22Think carefully before you lay your hands on# A sign of giving authority or power to another person. anyone for the Lord’s service. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
23Timothy, you stop drinking only water and drink a little wine. This will help your stomach, and you will not be sick so often.
24The sins of some people are easy to see even before they are judged. But the sins of others are seen only later. 25So also good deeds are easy to see. But even when they are not easy to see, they cannot stay hidden.