Saturday, December 18, 2010
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim 5:8)
Insomuch as this verse, in context, is directed towards the care of widows, it is by itself a directive for all follow, regardless of the age, condition or circumstances surrounding it. It takes you to the very heart of the meaning of the word "charity". God's command here is to do first for those at home, then for those in your community (or church), then for the rest of the world.
Our world has changed a bit since Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, but our obligations and responsibilities have not. Our society is made of mostly of "double income" households. Why? Because we have become a greedy society. We want! Plain and simple.
It all comes down to priorities. What are yours? Where do you put the emphasis on what's important and what's not? And if all you ever do is take, what "treasures" do you have to lay before the Lord? You cannot go through life expecting everyone else to pick up the slack for you. You have to make an honest effort. Feeding the hungry and clothing the naked starts at home! When you are the "head of the household", your duty is to those who live under your roof. If you don't take care of them, what you do for those outside of the home means nothing! And if you have relatives in need, your responsibility should shift to them - after you've met your first obligation. Once those outside your home are taken care of - then, and only then, will what you do for them be recognized and acknowledged. Our "works" have to be in accordance with what is defined in the Word.
The appearances you try to keep up will come back to haunt you. If you constantly and consistently ignore your responsibilities at home, if you do not "help yourself", how can you think you are in compliance with all that God has commanded? And if you're one who passes judgement on someone else's definement of their priorities, that too will be called into account! God has also advised us that that isn't part of our job. Our job is to love one another, and in loving one another, we are to provide for, take care of, pray for, and assist one another in all areas, and not just the ones that get us the tax write-offs.
If we call ourselves Christians but all we ever think about is "me, me, me" - what are we really saying? That our family is unimportant? God first, family second, everything else after that! Take care of what God has entrusted you with - your immediate family. Love them, comfort them and provide for them and you will be respected by them and by others. Default on that obligation and nothing you do will matter!