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Easy And Hard Choices

1 Timothy 5:11-15 
As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. (NIV)

Widowhood in youth is hard to bear. Yet through wars, disease and famine it is still a common experience. Paul advised against the natural tendency to protect and provide for the young widow within the church. In one way it might be thought of as an easier life, just serving in the church. But, unless God gives specific guidance, a young woman should expect to marry again and raise a family in a home which is a beacon of Christ’s love and truth to the community.
Although finding a suitable husband may not be easy, young women should not become idle busybodies but live a life of service to others – however hard that might be. The worst of all options is to be an unaccountable travelling gossip interfering in other people’s lives and delighting in the weakness of others. Such people become easy prey for Satan, who manipulates a right desire to influence people for good, into a destructive force which separates people and ruins churches.
Pastoral management of a church involves difficult decisions. One thing is certain: the Lord is not pleased by allowing people to do whatever they want. If that happened, there would be no gospel focus and the church could become a religious club responding to whoever is most manipulative. So do pray for your spiritual leaders that God will give them the strength to resist easy solutions where Satan may be at work, but persist in the hard work of teaching the truth and urging the people to obey God’s Word – for His glory’s sake and not theirs.

Holy Father. So many personal decisions are very hard to make and easy solutions seem so attractive. Thank You that Jesus made the hard decision to go to the cross and did not take any easy way out. I am sorry when I do not teach and encourage what is true because it seems too hard. Please help me always to be eager to put Your Word into practise, and encourage others to do the same. I do not want any of the people I care about to be trapped by Satan’s lies. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams