But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. (1 Tim. 5:6)

Today’s young people are hungry for mentors. I have been surprised at the number of college students who are desperate for genuine community with older believers. For this reason, I have spent countless evenings listening to chatter around my dining room table because “if you cook it, they will come.” At other times, I have refused to open my home and share my gift of hospitality. Of course, I have had legitimate seasons that have prevented me from hosting for one reason or another. At other times, however, I simply did not want to expend the effort—choosing self over service. This, despite the fact that service has always brought me life, and selfishness has brought me lethargy!

This week’s passage is an example of Paul’s characteristic bluntness. The church is to interact with one another as a family, which requires selflessness. Neither the widow nor the elder is exempt. Whether young or old, rich or poor, lowly or leading, it makes no difference. We must conscientiously care for the legitimate needs of our church family.

We have a responsibility to use our spiritual gifts, whatever they may be. Imagine the difference it would make if we each surrendered to this call. This means setting aside our propensities toward victimhood or superiority. Otherwise, we are dead even while we live.

Faithfully serve one another without prejudice or preference.

Dalene Fisher is a wife and mother. She serves as the dean of arts and sciences at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.