To some people, work is a four letter word; they try to avoid it all together, others
can’t get enough of it, and each person thinks the other is crazy. Why do you work? The question is simple enough, but if you analyze your motives, they just might surprise you.
Warning Against Idleness
2 Thess 3:6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who created the concepts of work, provision, responsibility, accountability, reward and punishment. These did not just evolve, nor are they to be dreaded. I made work to be a good thing, to be joyous and fulfilling. “Necessity may indeed be the mother of all kinds of inventions” including work, but I AM the “Father” of both. I created the work week and I planned for Man to be productive and creative like me. I intended for work to be the means by which people feed themselves and help others. But because of sin, men tend to see it as burdensome and depressing and something to be avoided. Because of my cursing the ground for Adam’s sake, work is truly hard, but it is supposed to be hard to force man to be dependent upon Me for strength and energy.
When My Son Jesus walked on this earth, He tuned his attention to be involved where I was at work in the hearts of men. He knew that I would provide his every need so He lived to be about My business. I have given you responsibilities to feed yourself but not to the point that work becomes your god. Prov 30:8,9 is a good balance to shoot for so that you too can be about the business of giving to people in need and showing them that I do care for them. As my children and my representatives to this fallen world, your work ethic is to reflect mine.
Idleness is a condition whereby a person feels like they are lord of their own time and do not submit to me in this matter. As The Creator, I give you “time” to be productive just as much as I give you money, health, strength and food because I love you and want you to enjoy it. Since time is also a resource, then I will hold you accountable for what you did with it as well. “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.”
The Thessalonians were waiting for the Lord to return at any time – a noble enough pursuit; however, they put their lives on hold to wait for him – and wait and wait – doing nothing but wanting others to feed them. Paul says that this was wrong and that the church should not even fellowship with those involved. We need to be responsible for providing for our own families AND live in faith anticipating His return.
In the mean time, other scriptures say to work with your hands in order to help others, whereby God is glorified in their eyes by your help 2 Cor 9:11-14. When we horde our resources, the world looks at us with disdain and God is slandered. When we give freely, People see our God as real and caring. Someone said, “You can give without love, but you cannot love without giving.” This is why we work. I challenge you to read 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 with God’s glory in mind and see how your working reflects your God to the world, or if work is your god.
More to come,