“But if any provide not for his own…”

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (I Tim 5:8)

The context of this verse is “widows.” This is not just speaking of anyone. It is in the context of speaking about widows. It is not just any widow but a widow that fits the criteria laid out in the previous verses.

I like what John MaCarthur says about this verse:

“And again I say, it isn’t the question of the organized church doing it, it’s the question of a believer doing it. And many people will come to me and they will say the church ought to help this lady, she needs $200. Why can’t the church help her? Well we want to do everything we can but if you say that to me I’m liable to say back to you, “Why can’t you help her?” And if you say to me I can’t help her because I don’t have anything either, then we’ll help both of you gladly. But don’t come and expect the church to do what you won’t do. That’s not the idea. Where do you…who do you think the church is? If you have a burden for someone, then the responsibility lies with you to do what you can to see that that burden is alleviated.”

You have denied the faith if you try to pass this burden off on someone else. “For God so loved the world he gave…” This is not to be given to some other member of the church – no it is yours. If you have the God-given means to meet the need then meet it – that is why you have the means in the first place.


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