When I read today’s chapter (1 Timothy 5) I thought, “Why does this have to be in the Bible?” I mean, the Bible is full of such great theology and amazing teaching and inspiration, do we really need to have these practical instructions about which widows to give benevolence money to and how the whole thing is to be administrated?”
Answer? Yes. Why? Because 1 Timothy was a letter written to a real church leader of a real church, and this was the crap he was having to deal with.
And that’s kind of comforting, because we all wish church could just be about great theology and amazing teaching and inspiration, but there’s always lots of crap too. And sometimes it’s about coming up with the right system to make sure things get administrated properly. And that kinda sucks, and you want to ask, “Why does this have to be in the church?,” but apparently it’s the way it’s always been, and will always be.
And, by the way, if you did today’s reading, did you notice what immediately follows the instruction about administering this benevolence program properly? A command to pay the “staff” of the church well. You know why? Because leading this stuff isn’t fun. In fact, it can be difficult, frustrating, and mind-numbingly boring. So, Paul writes, properly recognize and reward the people who do it. (And all the people said … amen.)