Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows. 1 Timothy 5:9-16
We have turned into a society that seems to think that asking someone to work is somehow wrong. Rather than help people get back on their feet we turn them into dependents of the state. This is happening not only to individuals but to families and multiple generations of families. When we help people we have two choices. We can help them get back on their feet or we can make them dependant on us by giving too much help.
Paul writes about the problems of helping people to the point of dependency. This type of help robs people of their dignity and leads them to destructive paths. As Paul writes, idlers become gossips and busybodies but they can also get into crime as they find too much time on their hands and fall into bad company. They stray after Satan.
What we need to do is give people down on their luck enough help to get them through the rough times and help them get back to work and be able to take care of their selves. Somehow society has decided that rather than get people back to work we just need to support them. In many cases the government support is more than people can make starting out in a job so the incentive is not to work because in order not to lose money.
In fact in many instances people are up in arms when anyone mentions making people work for the government stipend. Somehow this is seen as degrading. Being out of work has become acceptable. An able body person needs to work, not just for money but for their own self image. We need to put our funds to helping those that are unable to work and first in line to help should be family and the church. In fact, for those falling on hard times the first in line to help should also be family and the church. The government should be the last not first resort.
We need to step up. First as family and then as the church. When the church gets involved not only can we minister to the body we can minister to the soul. Christians can offer more than just a temporary roof over one’s head and a few meals; we can offer an eternal home where no suffering exists.
Have a blessed day,