Denying the Faith (1 Timothy 5:8)

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A friend stopped me in midsentence as I was making a favorable comment about a wealthy man who gives lavishly to Christian causes, “That’s all well and good,” he said, “but I wish he would remember his elderly parents. They are lonely and poor. He could make them very happy if he would just give them a little of his time and money.” I was surprised to discover that this supposedly devout believer was neglecting his needy parents.

Paul had something to say about Christians like this well-to-do acquaintance of mine. He wrote, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” That’s strong language, and we need to take it seriously. But why is it so bad to neglect needy loved ones? First, the believer knows in his heart he has a responsibility to his own family. Second, he disobeys a direct command of Jesus Christ that we love one another as He has loved us. Third, he ignores the example Jesus set for us when on the cross He made provision for His mother’s care. Fourth, he fails to take advantage of the Holy Spirit’s special enabling power.

In a day when we tend to become so preoccupied with our own problems that we forget aging parents or handicapped sibling, we need to be reminded of the apostle’s words. Yes, as God’s children, we must be willing to care for needy members of our own family. It’s not an option; it’s our Christian obligation. – Herbert Vander Lugt

Boast not a faith that’s true to God,

Who shows you how to live,

If family members close to you

Need help that you should give. – D. J. De Haan

He who fawns over strangers and fails his family is a fool.

  • April 26, 1985, Our Daily Bread
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