International Standard Version
1Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him as if he were your father. Treat younger men like brothers, 2older women like mothers, and younger women like sisters, with absolute purity.
3Honor widows who have no other family members to care for them. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to respect their own family by repaying their parents, for this is pleasing in God's sight. 5A woman who has no other family members to care for her and who is left all alone has placed her hope in God and devotes herself to petitions and prayers night and day. 6But the self-indulgent widow is just as good as dead. 7Continue to give these instructions, so that they may be blameless. 8If anyone does not take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9A widow may be put on the widows' list if she is at least sixty years old and has been the wife of one husband. 10She must be well known for her good actions as a woman who has raised children, welcomed strangers, washed the saints' feet, helped the suffering, and devoted herself to doing good in every way. 11But do not include younger widows on your list. For whenever their natural desires cause them to lose their devotion to the Messiah, they want to remarry. 12They receive condemnation because they have set aside their prior commitment to the Messiah. 13At the same time, they also learn how to be lazy while going from house to house. Not only this, but they even become gossips and keep busy by interfering in other people's lives, saying things they should not say. 14Therefore, I want younger widows to remarry, have children, manage their homes, and not give the enemy any chance to ridicule them. 15For some widows have already turned away to follow Satan. 16If any woman is a believer and has relatives who are widows, she should help them. The church should not be burdened, so it can help those widows who have no other family members to care for them.
17Elders who handle their duties well should be considered worthy of double compensation, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, "You must not muzzle an ox while it is treading out grain," and, "A worker deserves his pay." 19Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported "by two or three witnesses." 20As for those who keep on sinning, rebuke them in front of everyone so that the rest will also be afraid.
21With God as my witness, as well as the Messiah Jesus and the chosen angels, I solemnly call on you to carry out these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality. 22Do not ordain anyone hastily. Do not participate in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
23Stop drinking only water, but use a little wine for your stomach because of your frequent illnesses.
24The sins of some people are obvious, leading them to judgment. The sins of others follow them there. 25In the same way, good actions are obvious, and those that are not cannot remain hidden.