GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Never use harsh words when you correct an older man, but talk to him as if he were your father. Talk to younger men as if they were your brothers, 2older women as if they were your mothers, and younger women as if they were your sisters, while keeping yourself morally pure.
3Honor widows who have no families. 4The children or grandchildren of a widow must first learn to respect their own family by repaying their parents. This is pleasing in God's sight. 5A widow who has no family has placed her confidence in God by praying and asking for his help night and day. 6But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead although she is still alive. 7Insist on these things so that widows will have good reputations. 8If anyone doesn't take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the Christian faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9Any widow who had only one husband and is at least 60 years old should be put on your list [of widows]. 10People should tell about the good things she has done: raising children, being hospitable, taking care of believers' needs, helping the suffering, or always doing good things. 11Don't include younger widows [on your list]. Whenever their natural desires become stronger than their devotion to Christ, they'll want to marry. 12They condemn themselves by rejecting the Christian faith, the faith they first accepted. 13At the same time, they learn to go around from house to house since they have nothing else to do. Not only this, but they also gossip and get involved in other people's business, saying things they shouldn't say. 14So I want younger widows to marry, have children, manage their homes, and not give the enemy any chance to ridicule them. 15Some of them have already turned away to follow Satan. 16If any woman is a believer and has relatives who are widows, she should help them. In this way the church is not burdened and can help widows who have no families.
17Give double honor to spiritual leaders who handle their duties well. This is especially true if they work hard at teaching the word [of God]. 18After all, Scripture says, "Never muzzle an ox when it is threshing grain," and "The worker deserves his pay." 19Don't pay attention to an accusation against a spiritual leader unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20Reprimand those leaders who sin. Do it in front of everyone so that the other leaders will also be afraid.
21I solemnly call on you in the sight of God, Christ Jesus, and the chosen angels to be impartial when you follow what I've told you. Never play favorites. 22Don't be in a hurry to place your hands on anyone [to ordain him]. Don't participate in the sins of others. Keep yourself morally pure.
23Stop drinking only water. Instead, drink a little wine for your stomach because you are frequently sick.
24The sins of some people are obvious, going ahead of them to judgment. The sins of others follow them there. 25In the same way, the good things that people do are obvious, and those that aren't obvious can't remain hidden.