Be Scripturally Balanced

22 Dec

1 Thess 4:9-12    “Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia.  But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quite life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.”

It was recently suggested to us by a ‘friend’, that if you are working to provide for the needs of your family and being responsible for paying your own bills, that you could be neglectful of your family and unfit for the ministry (because you don’t have the time they have).  This person’s opinion is: that by being unemployed, and relying on those who do work to give to him, He is more useful and prophetic in Ministry then “those Christians” who hold down a job and fulfill their responsibly.   This opinion is not only unscriptural, but is also wrong ethically and morally.  This person’s lack of employment is not a result of the recent economy or recession, this is not the reason for his unemployment, it has been his choice not to work.  Nor is health an issue, but his issue is that he believes he is called to be an end-time “Watchman”, accompanied by authoring a book or two, Therefore he remains unemployed.  This brother is not a Pastor, or involved in Seminary training, nor is he pursuing an education that would deter him from working, such as others we know in ministry work who have been diligent to pursue employment or fulfill their training and placement.

 One time when discussing a hectic work day with him, this person said that he thought I was “sold out to the system” because I worked for a living, and was being responsible for fulfilling my responsibility.  When Christians do not read their bible (and read the Scripture in it’s context), they will not have a proper perspective of what is required of a Christian, they will have a distorted view of the Truth.  In fact, the Bible more rightly supports that Chirstians should/ are not to be a burden to anyone.  They are to work with their hands, and supply for the needs of themselves and those of their own household.  (1 Thess 4:9-12,  1 Tim 5:8 ).

1  Tim 5:8  “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Troubled by this brother’s opinion and judgmental attitude, we looked to the Scriptures to help us understand why and where someone would have such a distorted view of a Christian living the Christian life.

One Commentary says it this way:  “The Thessalonians were eagerly looking forward to the coming of Christ, but they were overly anxious and were hyper vigilant, and had a preoccupation with Jesus coming and this lead them to a mistaken notion that temporal responsibility no longer matter in light of His return. Paul had to instruct them to correct their misunderstandings and unhealthy responses to the promise of the imminent return of the Savior (2 Thess. 2:1-12, 1 Thess 4:13, 5:11)  “but A balanced anticipation of Christ return is a good thing.”…. “But the Thessalonians were allowing their excitement and enthusiasm for the second coming of Christ to overshadow the ordinary responsibilites of life.  They seemed to lose their balance and composure (2 Thess 2:2,  3:10)  and became so zealous and agitated concerning eschatological events that they neglected their everyday duties. …..  such an unbalanced perpective on Jesus’ return, however, contradicted the Lord’s teaching.  (Luke 19:11, 24:21, Acts 1:6).  They believed the Lord’s return would be immediate, but Christ indicated how believers ought to live in view of His coming  (Luke 19:12,13).

A better attitude is that which is found in James 5:7,8 says: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.  The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.  You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near” 

Paul further exhorts the believers because of wrong thinking, and gives four exhortations for life until Jeus returns in 1 Thess 4:9-12:  1). love each other more,  2). lead a quiet life,  3). mind your own business and  4). work with your hands.

Many of the Apostles worked to care for their families and to support their work.  The Apostle Paul made tents, Peter was a fisherman, etc.  There is no reason to suggest that those who “Work for a living” are neglectful of their family or their ministry work, or that they are unfit for service to Christ.

Christianity is a living, practical faith. A faith that is taken into our everyday lives, and effecting the people around us, determining our actions and thoughts, and resulting in noble deeds as well as the little things in life.  A true living faith, produces works of faith and labor of love, and a steadfastness of hope in Jesus Christ.




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