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You’re pretty – you get a gold star.
You have a successful career – you get a gold star.
Each day society hands out “gold stars” to the women that it deems worthy of appreciation. And as it has been for many decades now, the criteria for merit is largely based on youthful looks and achievement. And so, every year, millions of women are subjected to being measured by the world’s checklist as they hope for a seal of approval that declares, “You’ve done well. You still look young and have achieved a decent amount of market place success. You get a gold star”.
However, the things that warrant praise from the world are often of little significance to God. In 1 Timothy 5, Paul, in writing about the church supporting widows who have no one to care for them, says that, before we start paying their rent and buying them groceries, we had better see if these “women in need” are worthy of such esteem from the church.
Here is 1 Tim 5:9,10 “Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.”
1 Timothy 5 gives us God’s checklist for a life well lived (and I firmly believe that this is a list that is just as important for men as it is for women).
Faithful in marriage?
Reputation for doing good?
Grown children who are productive members of society?
Hospitable and generous to people you didn’t know?
Service to the church?
Mercy toward the weak and the lowly?
Consistent in following the good path of Jesus?
If so … then you, YOU get a gold star! (From on high and not from Hollywood)
So forget wrinkle cream and corporate ladders. Gold Stars for such things will only turn your skin green.
Approval from God, whether we are male or female, is based upon faithfulness, service and mercy. Let’s strive for these things as we make our way towards the big teachers desk in the sky.