5 1Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters. The Support of Widows 3Support[K] widows who are genuinely widows. 4But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must learn to practice godliness toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God. 5The real widow, left all alone, has put her hope in God and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers; 6however, she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7Command this also, so they won’t be blamed. 8But if anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9No widow should be placed on the official support list[L] unless she is at least 60 years old, has been the wife of one husband, 10and is well known for good works—that is, if she has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints’ feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to every good work. 11But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when they are drawn away from Christ by desire, they want to marry 12and will therefore receive condemnation because they have renounced their original pledge. 13At the same time, they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t say. 14Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us. 15For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16If any[M] believing woman has widows in her family, she should help them, and the church should not be burdened, so that it can help those who are genuinely widows. Honoring the Elders 17The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium,[N] especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says: Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,[O] and, the worker is worthy of his wages. 19Don’t accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid. 21I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism. 22Don’t be too quick to appoint[P] anyone as an elder, and don’t share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. 23Don’t continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 24Some people’s sins are obvious, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others surface[Q] later. 25Likewise, good works are obvious, and those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden.
Holman Christian Standard Bible® / © 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers About