1 Timothy 5:1-16Contemporary English Version (CEV)
How To Act toward Others
5 Don’t correct an older man. Encourage him, as you would your own father. Treat younger men as you would your own brother, 2 and treat older women as you would your own mother. Show the same respect to younger women that you would to your sister.
3 Take care of any widow who is really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to serve God by taking care of her, as she once took care of them. This is what God wants them to do. 5 A widow who is really in need is one who doesn’t have any relatives. She has faith in God, and she keeps praying to him night and day, asking for his help.
6 A widow who thinks only about having a good time is already dead, even though she is still alive.
7 Tell all of this to everyone, so they will do the right thing. 8 People who don’t take care of their relatives, and especially their own families, have given up their faith. They are worse than someone who doesn’t have faith in the Lord.
9 For a widow to be put on the list of widows, she must be at least sixty years old, and she must have been faithful in marriage.[a]10 She must also be well-known for doing all sorts of good things, such as raising children, giving food to strangers, welcoming God’s people into her home,[b] helping people in need, and always making herself useful.
11 Don’t put young widows on the list. They may later have a strong desire to get married. Then they will turn away from Christ 12 and become guilty of breaking their promise to him. 13 Besides, they will become lazy and get into the habit of going from house to house. Next, they will start gossiping and become busybodies, talking about things that are none of their business.
14 I would prefer that young widows get married, have children, and look after their families. Then the enemy won’t have any reason to say insulting things about us. 15 Look what’s already happened to some of the young widows! They have turned away to follow Satan.
16 If a woman who is a follower has any widows in her family, she[c] should help them. This will keep the church from having that burden, and then the church can help widows who are really in need.
5.9been faithful in marriage: Or “been the wife of only one husband” or “never been divorced.”
5.10welcoming God’s people into her home: The Greek text has “washing the feet of God’s people.” In New Testament times most people either went barefoot or wore sandals, and a host would often wash the feet of special guests.
5.16woman. . . she: Some manuscripts have “man or woman. . . that person.”
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