Honor widows who are truly widows.  But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.  She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day,  but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.
Here, after Paul directed young Timothy on how a church would properly treat all sorts of people – men and women, young and old. Paul instructs him on how to treat widows, as examples of ones who would be in need of support. First, make sure a person is categorized properly. Is she truly in need with no family able to help? Does she revere God? Then, the church should provide her help and honor her.
As guidance for the Ephesian church on how to treat widows in need, this is relevant for how the church should handle all sorts of people in need.
As a church we should always be ready to deal with individual brokenness and living life together. We should also be ready to honor and help people financially where possible but as well, we must be faithful stewards of God’s money. We must discern whether offering God’s money as help is appropriate. We should first answer a few questions.
– Is she trying to take care of herself and for some reason is not able?
– Does he have family able to help him in his need?
– Does she love God and serve Him or spend her time out carousing?
As we love enough to share the Good News and to share life, we should glorify the Lord with our resources. We should share as much as possible of our resources with individuals truly in need but we need to do it in a discerning and responsible manner.
Lord thank You for all you have done for us as individuals and as a church family. Help us to be faithful with the resources You provide us as a church. As we love others and share life with them, help us use Your Word as the guide to discerning who and when to help, and in what way we should help. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen.