Key verse: 1 Timothy 5:12
Big idea: The faithful minister should be honored.
What do we value as a society? The average professional athlete makes roughly a bajillion dollars a year, politicians tend to retire with substantially more money than their official salary would suggest and the interchangeable pretty faces on the movie screen have four houses and little acting talent. Who does God say is worthy of "double honor"? The term is, in the context of this chapter, clearly a respect that often takes the form of material support (like our word "honorarium"). The recipients of a double dose are the elders (or pastors) who lead well through preaching and teaching. No sports, secular leaders or entertainment peddle anything more precious than the Word of God and our priorities should be reflected in our gratitude.
There is another side to this coin: what about when someone entrusted with such a position sins? Paul warns us not to respond to every rumor or innuendo, but when witnesses can verify the failure, the same pastor who was to be publicly honored should be publicly rebuked, so others will not follow him into error. It is the great responsibility that comes with the great honor of leading God's people that the elders are held accountable if they lead their charges astray. For these, there is no room for partiality on the basis of personality or friendship. Whether in honor or reprimand, what matters is faithfulness.
Discussion idea: What do you think the mega salaries of some professionals reveals about our culture's priorities and values?
Prayer focus: Pray for your pastor, that God would help him live up to his duty to lead well through preaching and teaching and not to be distracted by the army of other false priorities.