Today’s Reading is Gen 3:1-15 and 1 Tim 5:17-25.
A new day is about to start, I wonder what does God have in store for us to read and reflect on today? Let me have a look, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1 Tim 5:17).
So the focus today is on ensuring that those who are placed over a congregation, those who have been set aside for preaching and teaching are to paid, but not only paid but they could even be considered worthy of double pay. As a pastor of course I could write at great length about why my work is so important and worth such a salary. But let me not get carried away. But just in case you are wondering I am well paid, provided with a house, there is provision for my family, assistance with transport and on the list goes. Thank you Jesus thank you Figtree. I don’t receive a salary I receive a stipend. What is the difference you ask? A salary is paid for work done, a stipend is given so that you can actually do the work of God.
Yes all workers deserves the right wage (v18). Paul goes on to speak to Timothy about the reality that there is more involved than just adequate financial provision. This is where the writer of this blog starts to go week at the knees.
There has to be high standards or moral integrity for all those placed over congregations to lead and shepherd God’s people. If there has been any moral failure, then care must be taken with any accusations. Public rebuke should only happen if there has been several failed private attempts. We need to keep this in mind at all times.
Paul adds to this by being direct with Timothy and advising him not to show partiality. Maybe this was an issue for Timothy. Maybe it is an issue for us? Let us be honest we can all get caught up showing favouritism to others. Maybe these words today have special meaning for some reading this blog!
Last night many us were part of a ceremony where we saw the laying on of hands of 3 men. It is a weighty business. The promises they made are heavy, the commitment to live a Godly life are challenging, as is the call to honour those over them in the Lord. None of this can be achieved with human strength. Paul even adds that they should avoid sharing in the sins of others (v22). To each of those promises comes the commitment that they will do all they have been called to do, with the Lord being their helper. To that we can all say a hearty amen.
The challenge for us to keep in mind is that not only must the person who is having hands laid on them be pure, but so also must those who are doing the laying on of hands. A tough call by any stretch of the imagination.
Finally, spare a thought for those who work over you. Be gracious to them, seek to encourage them, as they seek to encourage you and remember always why they are called to wear dog collars. It is because they have as many fleas as the next person.