Caring for God’s family
1Don’t correct an older man, but encourage him like he’s your father; treat younger men like your brothers, 2treat older women like your mother, and treat younger women like your sisters with appropriate respect.
3Take care of widows who are truly needy. 4But if a particular widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to respect their own family and repay their parents, because this pleases God. 5A widow who is truly needy and all alone puts her hope in God and keeps on going with requests and prayers, night and day. 6But a widow who tries to live a life of luxury is dead even while she is alive. 7Teach these things so that the families#Or they will be without fault. 8But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith.
9Put a widow on the list who is older than 60 years old and who was faithful to her husband. 10She should have a reputation for doing good: raising children, providing hospitality to strangers, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in distress, and dedicating herself to every kind of good thing. 11But don’t accept younger widows for the list. When their physical desires distract them from Christ, they will want to get married. 12Then they will be judged for setting aside their earlier commitment. 13Also, they learn to be lazy by going from house to house. They are not only lazy, but they also become gossips and busybodies, talking about things they shouldn’t. 14So I want younger widows to marry, have children, and manage their homes so that they won’t give the enemy any reason to slander us. (15Some have already turned away to follow Satan.) 16If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should take care of them and not burden the church, so that it can help other widows who are truly needy.
Instructions for elders
17Elders who lead well should be paid double, especially those who work with public speaking and teaching. 18The scripture says, Don’t put a muzzle on an ox while it treads grain,#Deut 25:4 and Workers deserve their pay.#Luke 10:7 19Don’t accept an accusation made against an elder unless it is confirmed by two or three witnesses. 20Discipline those who are sinning in front of everyone so that all the others will be afraid. 21I charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to follow these practices without bias, and without playing favorites. 22Don’t rush to commission anyone to leadership, and don’t participate in the sins of others. Keep yourself morally pure.
23Don’t drink water anymore, but use a little wine because of your stomach problems and your frequent illnesses. 24The sins of some people are obvious, and the sins are judged before the people must face judgment, but the sins of other people show up later. 25In the same way, the good that people do is also obvious and can’t be hidden.
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