Here Paul continues writing to Timothy on the church and how it should be structured and run. Again, given that we are all called to be the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12.27), the exhortation and instruction is valid for us all in application.
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.
Timothy is told, in the original language, not to strike at an older man…so if he needed to challenge the behaviour or conduct of an older man, to do it with respect, as you would a father. It is an unavoidable part of the work of the pastor, to encouragingly rebuke and realign conduct that has strayed from the Word of God.
The same instruction goes for rebuking anyone in the church for Timothy, and it also goes for us now. Older men, younger men, older women, younger women, no matter, we are to treat everyone with respect, as fathers, as brothers, as mothers, as sisters, and to interact with them in all purity.
Rather than cut people down with words, the instruction is to encourage those around us as if we are one family.
Functional and fruitful families build each other up, they don’t tear each other down with words.Tweet
Today then, rather than seeking to rebuke in the harshest way possible, let us seek to interact with our church families in a spirit of mutual encouragement, encouraging one another in all purity.