For the past few weeks I have been independently studying the book of 1 Timothy. The last couple of days I have been reading 1 Tim. 5, the beginning part of which speak on caring for widows. Paul writes (in the context of speaking on how the Church should act, spefically towards widows), "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (v.8)
I don't think this is just financial/material provision, although in that culture that was a large concern for widows. I think it was also giving of time, attention, friendship, love. I could write paragraphs and point fingers about people who call themselves believers whose behaviors do not match their so-called beliefs, but I must also ask myself - what am I doing with my behavior? Do my beliefs and my behaviors match? It is not just a checklist because if that were the case, I could check this one off - cares for widows - check. It is an attitude. And beyond just widows - orphans, the poor, the oppressed, the lonely. What can I do in this place in my life to make sure my behavior and my beliefs match up? What more is God asking of me? No, not asking, commanding of me?
In light of this verse, I have to say that I am ashamed of how some people I know treat widows. I completely understand what Ghandi meant when he said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."