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Effective Stewardship – Month #17

God expects us to provide for our families.

“And whoever does not provide for relatives,

and especially for family members,

has denied the faith and is worse

than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).

 

One of the most striking accusations the Lord Jesus made when He was on earth was to label someone a hypocrite. Time and time again, He criticized the Pharisees and others for their hypocrisy. They said one thing but did something entirely different. They fit the description used by Zig Ziglar who said, “A hypocrite is one who is not himself on Sunday.”

That’s perhaps what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote to Timothy: “And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” In other words, to give credence to Christianity, to give lip service to following Christ and to trusting in Him as Savior and Lord, and then to fail to provide for our own family, is hypocrisy. To do so, in reality, is to deny our faith and to be considered as someone who has no faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and no interest in spiritual matters.

It seems like such a small thing — relatively speaking (pun intended) — that Paul is exhorting Timothy to do. Provide for your own household, your own relatives. Take care of those under your care. Minister to those closest to you as a demonstration of your Christian faith.

Yes, we are to give to His ministry here at Central United Methodist Church. Yes, we are to be involved in ministering to others “on our own” and as part of the outreach of this church. But we are also to provide for our own families. We are also to minister to them and to care for them, for by doing so, we demonstrate the practical reality of our Christian faith. We thereby avoid the label of hypocrite since what we say is what we do.

How’s the balance in your life? Are you providing for the needs of this ministry and those of your household? As a result, do others (especially your family) see Jesus in you?

 

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