Day 8

Support and Honor

from the 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus reading plan

1 Timothy 5:1-6:2a, Matthew 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 7:39-40

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 5:1-6:2a, Matthew 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 7:39-40

It was my first time driving in a funeral processional. I’d always been a passenger, not the driver. But on this day I was in the car alone, hazard lights flashing, trusting the cars in front of me to lead me safely to the funeral home. A couple dozen cars drove along, speeding up and slowing down in unnatural rhythm, trying our best to keep too much space from forming between each car in the line. A police officer in a black sedan with flashing lights would block an intersection until some of us passed, and then he’d speed up, siren blazing, to beat the lead car to the next intersection.

The last stretch of the drive took us down a busy four-lane highway where we came to a stop, assumedly due to afternoon Nashville traffic. But the cause of the delay soon showed itself: two long lines of cars had parted, moving to either side of the road and stopping in silent, reverent lines, waiting for us to pass. I felt like an Israelite driving through the Red Sea on dry ground, passageway granted by a supernatural turn of events. Maybe that sounds melodramatic, but in a world where we daily insist on our own truth and our own way, the gesture struck me as an unlikely bastion of decency in an individualistic society. The last shall be first. Those who mourn shall be comforted. It was the gospel in everyday clothes.

In our reading today, Timothy, a young pastor of a young church, was learning to lead his congregation in caring for one another. Paul, an older, more experienced brother in the faith, was writing to bolster Timothy’s faith and offer some practical advice. The headline of this particular part of his letter? Support and honor.

These are actions most of us agree to in theory. Support those in need; honor one another as fellow image-bearers of God. Those who do not know Jesus recognize these concepts too, even if they call them by a different name. It’s the reason the line of cars didn’t plow over the police officer that day and insist on their right to the road: we recognize there is a “right” thing to do. The problem comes in moving from theory to practice; we might agree that supporting those in need is good and important, but exactly who is “in need” and how to support them—there’s the rub.

The first two verses of today’s reading set the crucial premise for the detailed, context-specific instructions Paul gave Timothy on the subject: “Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters with all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2). Fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters. In other words, regard your fellow church members as family and act toward them accordingly.

The Church—the family of God—is to care for one another in love and sincerity. We are to move past good intentions and into action, even though it means risking tension, disagreement, and misunderstanding. If we are indeed family, then we can work it out together, forgiving our imperfections and ignorance along the way, gently helping one another grow in the ways of truth and love as imitators of Christ. And if we are followers of Christ and co-laborers in His gospel, then His reputation, not ours, is what is ultimately at stake.

As a family who knows the life-changing, life-giving grace of Jesus, may the countercultural support and honor we show one another cause the world to stop and wonder: Who taught them to love like this?   


Post Comments (48)

48 thoughts on "Support and Honor"

  1. Diane McFalls says:

    I love that last line,”where did she learn to love like that.”

  2. Monica Davis says:

    All caught up today!!! Praise the Lord!

  3. Denise Powers Fabian says:

    They will know we are Christians by our love…can that be said about me?

  4. Tina says:

    Recently one of our beloved passed away. He was 98 and a half. He started coming to us when he lost his wife some 6/7 years ago now… he was always smartly dressed and tidy. Always smiling and he liked to tell us about his life and family…He always made it and always on his own.. He walked everywhere with his walker/ seat..
    He had two sons. But on the subject of them he would often say.. I haven’t seen them in a long time…
    So when we got the news that he had passed, we were surprised to be visited by a gentleman who introduced himself as our beloveds son.. He said he had wanted to meet us and see where his father had spent his days. He wanted to see where his father had talked about in telephone conversations of being happy and chatty with friends. He wanted to visit the places where dad talked about most…
    He burst into tears saying Dad was loved here wasn’t he…?
    With tears in my eyes I replied… Absolutely…
    He was a very special man..
    I just wonder if this son, in that moment of realization that His father was loved by us, didn’t think… ‘Who taught them to love like that…?

    Blessings Sisters.. with love…xxx

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      We’re so sorry to hear this Tina. Praying for you today and are so grateful that you’re here. -Margot, The SRT Team

  5. Ashley Nilles says:

    I for the longest time could not understand why my mom remarried after my dad passing. I needed to read this. So much more understanding now.

  6. Carissa says:

    This was much needed but also hit me like a wall. I have been dealing with a dysfunctional family for my entire life but in the past 6 months my younger sister who I used to be close with has strayed further and further away. To quickly sum up, she has had boyfriend after boyfriend – not God honoring, and almost dropped out from the private university where she has an athletic scholarship to and she quit the sport she loved for these men. She has been with a new boyfriend for a couple of months and our family just found out that she is pregnant. My older sister has been struggling with infertility so for my younger sister to become pregnant outside of marriage has been devastating for her and I am feeling that pain with her. It is hard when my heart wants to hate her and have nothing to do with this pregnancy and this new life that is making me an aunt – but the Holy Spirit is telling me otherwise. I am feeling a lot of things: anger, embarrassment, worry, disappointment and many more that I can not find words for.

    Support and honor…I know I need to support her but I also feel I then positively reinforce her behaviors and poor life choices. It is hard to love and honor right now. Prayers please.

    1. Liz C says:

      Prayers for you and your sister. And your older sister. So many emotions rolled up here. I hope that your faith in Jesus and help you sort them out.

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      Hi Carissa, thank you for sharing this. We’re praying for you during this time. -Margot, The SRT Team

    3. Danya Ho says:

      Love covers a multitude of sins. She is empty inside and your love is what may just bring her into a be paradigm. For even while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
      I grew up a young girl who rebelled against het parents and declared she would have a baby. She did at the age of 16. It was hard it was embarrassing it was all the emotions eith eith you are struggling. But God replaced all those with a fierce love in my heart for her. It was the difference between further rebellion and a broken and contrite spirit. I will pray you

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