Friday – October 12, 2018 – Double Honor, With Jeopardy.
1 Timothy 5:17-19 (NIV) The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.
Honor is not just having good thoughts toward people and treating them with respect. It is more than paying close attention to them and celebrating them. It is more than recognizing them and enhancing their reputations. It is more than saying nice things about them and building them up in front of others. Honor does include those things, but often goes beyond that. Sometimes honor requires an exchange. Sometimes it requires generosity. This issue of double honor is an admonition in the Bible, but it is seldom carried out in practice. What does it take for you to part with your money? Do you only do it when you are the one who gains benefit from it? Or are you willing to obey the Bible and give honor where honor is due?
The elders in the church are considered to be worthy of double honor, because they are given double responsibility. They are required to direct the affairs of the church, as well as preaching and teaching the Word of God. No one understands how challenging these responsibilities are unless they have done it themselves.
In addition to those responsibilities, there is always the danger that they will receive unfounded accusations. Rather than receiving double honor, they are given dishonor. The church is not to give any credence to these accusations unless there are two or three witnesses to whatever the offense was. We live in a world that is training us to believe the worst about someone, rather than believing the best. If it is simply whispered, it is assumed to be true. An accusation is an accusation and is not proof of guilt. Without corroborating witnesses or evidence, a person must be presumed innocent.
Prayer: Lord, help me to show honor to those who are due it. Correct me if I ever entertain an accusation against someone when there is no evidence or witness to support it.