There is the Principle Regarding Idleness - 2 Thessalonians 3:10
November 3, 2022, 11:55 AM

“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Paul gives them a principle when it comes to work. "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." How badly do you want to work? Well, if someone is hungry, pretty badly. We sort out our priorities that way. The greatest physical need is the need for food.

Of course, we realize the exceptions. First, I wish to note this instruction is for the church and the problem of those in the congregation refusing to work relying on others for their needs. If one has the will to work but is unable that is a different matter. If there are those who do not wish or desire or want to work, they shall not eat either. Illness, infirmities, age, tragedies, and circumstances often prevent those who want to work, but cannot. We have two rules: work and feed yourself; and feed and help those unable to provide for themselves. We are to be liberal with our possessions to the degree we have been blessed, but also responsible that we do not perpetuate laziness on the part of other fellow Christians.

The value of work is that we meet our needs, and our families’ needs. We earn money to give to others and we learn to be God's representatives and light into all the world because He wants to infiltrate the world with the Holy Spirit. How can He do that except through you and me?

What do you do with the refugees in Ukraine or the people who have to flee their homes in the Middle East because of war and rebels? What we do during natural disasters that affect many lives? We use those times to raise special funds for them through World Relief and missions in Jesus’ name. What do you do with wives whose husbands leave them with no money so they can go out, drink or gamble it away? The children have nothing left to eat. Or there are some that are unemployed and want to work?

Children also have to be taught responsibility in the home. That is training for adult responsibility. I have noticed very clearly that there is a different work ethic in the rural area than in the cities. Certainly, there are many exceptions. There are many fine workers in the cities and many lazy people in the country. When I was working at nursing homes, in the Twin Cities, they employed many high school students. They couldn't hold a candle to the kids who grew up on farms.

I was in the Twin Cities people would come to church asking for a handout. I asked if they would be willing to do some yard work or stuff envelopes. Most would not.

Application: How can we help a brother or sister in the Lord find work? What can we do to teach some skills or provide experience that will be helpful to others in the long run?

Prayer:  Lord, give me wisdom to know when to help someone and when to challenge them to work.