You have a giant paper due tomorrow. You haven’t gotten past the first 3 sentences. Instead of starting on sentence number 4 though, you find yourself noticing some dust on your desk. Thirty seconds later, and you are now 200% involved in the biggest cleaning operation your room has seen in years. You’re washing base boards, reorganizing your closet and decided that you’re going to repaint your room.
Here’s the major problem, we’ve ignored the thing that mattered most (the paper) for something that seemed more important in the moment (cleaning your room). We don’t just do it with tasks, we do it with people too.
In 1 Timothy 5, Paul is talking about how to practically take care of widows (verses 2-7). He was writing some good advice like: if the widow can live with her family and they’re financially stable, church people don’t need to give her money. Then, the very next verse says:
1 Timothy 5:8 But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.
The “but” is there as an interruption. Because just like avoiding our important paper, we sometimes forget that the most important people for us to care for is our family. And usually we do it because it’s easier. It’s usually way easier to comfort a friend than to comfort your parents.
All people have physical, emotional and spiritual needs. And we have responsibilities to help our families with these.
You know what happens when you begin to take care of the needs of those close to you? They begin to pour back into you. You’ll be more effective cleaning your room when your paper is finished. You’re a better friend, when your family is cared for.