Devotional: Whoever Does Not Provide for His Own

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

Our oldest son escaped his condo fire in his bare feet, wearing just an old pair of pants and a tee shirt. When I got to the scene, he was standing in the parking lot watching firemen put out the blaze a plumber had started while sweating pipes with a torch in another unit.

Once the fire was put out, David and the other residents were given fifteen minutes to go in and get whatever important items they could find. For David, those were his car keys, his wallet and his computer.

Turns out the plumber didn’t have insurance. That meant the twelve condo owners’ insurers and the condo association’s insurer battled everything out for months. Two failed asbestos abatements complicated matters even further. Eventually, the entire building had to be gutted down to the studs and completely remodeled.

The whole process took two years and that meant David needed a temporary place to stay. Fortunately, we have a large finished basement with bedrooms and a bathroom, so we did what all parents would do. We invited David to come live with us in our basement. An offer he quickly accepted.

The operative phrase here is “we did what all parents would do.” Even non-Christians provide for their own. For Christians, who claim to be born again, to fail to provide for their own family is, according to Scripture, one of the worst sins they can commit. It is the equivalent of denying the faith.

Paul’s harsh warning reminds us that we have been saved to serve others. If we are not even willing to sacrifice for our own family and extended family, then what good is our salvation?

Discussion Questions

  1. What two classes of relatives is Paul talking about here?
  2. How many are in your own household? How many are in what you consider to be your extended family?
  3. Paul is talking about providing for legitimate need. Are there instances when it might be inappropriate to give support to family members?
  4. Why does failing to provide for our own family and extended family make us worse than unbelievers?
  5. Have you ever had to provide emergency support to a family member? What was the outcome?
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