Friday, October 20, 2006

Purity and a memory from the past

A long time ago, when I was still a young man, I came across this command for the first time:
Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.
1 Timothy 5.1-2
Here is what I remember from it. I was single back then, and believe it or not, when I looked at a woman my thoughts were not necessarily always pure and edifying.

But right around the time I came upon this command (or it came unto me), there was a trick of the lighting or something, when I just about mistook this one woman for my sister. Well, actually, the closest sister was several hundred miles away, but what I mean is that this lady looked enough like my sister that if she had turned around and turned out to be my sister (I was watching her from behind) my question would have been "How did you get here?" rather than "How did you change so much?"

Anyway, I shook my head and the illusion passed, but I never looked at her the same after that. I think the "trick of the lighting" or whatever was help from God to spare me from embarrassment or worse at that time. (Thank you God!)

Now that I am older, I think that for myself I might add "the younger people as sons and daughters." Because really, now that my children are teenagers and soon to be out of the house, I rarely tell them what to do; mostly I suggest, advise, appeal, ask, encourage, and so on. Which is what we can do with younger people in the church; we can't really command.

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