To fail to take care of your own as we have opportunity is denying Christianity. It is denying the Christian faith, and we are then worse off than the unconverted. This is a pretty strong statement. A person who meets the criterion of this verse has disavowed Christianity; he is walking away from his responsibility to take care of his own first.
We can also apply the principle in this verse to the church. Combining this verse with Galatians 6:9-10, it is abundantly clear that God thinks that, even in the best of times, the brethren have first priority, not the world. If there was ever a time for doing good to the brethren, the time is now. In its broader context, Galatians 6:1-10 has spiritual matters more directly in mind than filling physical needs. This does not deny that there are times to help out physically, but the chapter begins with, "If one sees a brother in a fault. . . ." This is the real foundation of his charge in verses 9 and 10, spiritual matters, and that is exactly where the church's problems lie.
John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part Four)
A person who has properly obeyed his parents in childhood later expresses his honor for them in a deeper appreciation of the comforts and training they provided him as a child. This honor expresses itself in courtesy, thoughtfulness, and kind deeds. Any parent, especially a widowed parent, should be repaid by his children for the care given them as they grew up. Even in His dying moments, while suffering an agonizing death, Jesus honored and loved His mother by making provision for John to care for her after His death (John 19:26-28). God our Father is well pleased with us when we obey this vital commandment (Colossians 3:20).
Martin G. Collins
The Fifth Commandment
We owe a duty to God and to the affairs of this life. We are to be diligent in our business in providing for ourselves and our families. God, at the very beginning of the Book (Genesis 1-3), when He put Adam and Eve in the Garden, says that they are to dress and keep it, meaning that they are to embellish it, to add to it, and to guard it from deterioration.
Part of our responsibility is to be diligent in doing our job for our employer. We are to be careful not to squander and waste what we have. We are to look ahead and plan to provide for future demands, taking into consideration that there will be emergencies like accidents, illness, death, natural disasters. We are to prepare for such things.
If we fail to do that, it is not showing faith that "God will provide," but rather presumption and irresponsibility in throwing all the responsibility on God while we ignore ours, failing to fulfill what God instructs us to do. There is much to be learned about God's Kingdom and getting prepared for it by carefully using our resources.
The danger lies in our human proclivity to tend toward extremes. The most common is following human nature's inclination to be overly concerned about the things of this life and devoting too much time and energy to it. Jesus points this out in Matthew 6:25, advising us to “take no anxious thought.”
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian and the World (Part Eight)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 1 Timothy 5:8:
2 Thessalonians 3:2