Work

30 Nov

What does the Bible say about Work.  It does not tell us that we are ungodly worldly- minded or disobedient to God because we DO work for a living.  Working for a living is NOT a sign of lack of faith,  as was suggested to me.  God’s promise to provide for our needs— is not an excuse to be lazy or not have a job and shows a lack of understand of what the bible instructs about ’work’.  God does provide for our needs, but that doesn’t mean you do not work or have a job in the process of God meeting those needs.

 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – 14

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you,

 Nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;

 Not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.

 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order:  if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.

 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.”

There is no such thing as a secular job for a Christian; all work is a spiritual duty to be done as an opportunity to give glory to God (1 Cor 10:31)  2 Thess 3:6-14  is a perfect example of what God expects of the believer.  Christians are to have a wage earning job and not to leech off of other Christians who work hard and obey the commands from Scripture to work for a living.  (2 Thess 3:8)

 The Biblical ethic of “Work” is spoken about in the bible as a gift from God.  One commentary says: “Man’s occupation with it provides development of skill and productivity, significant contribution, value, meaning and fulfillment in life.  It also prevents idleness which, as clearly seen in the indolent of every society, is debilitating and destructive. It is well said that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” God also gave work to man as a means of demonstrating the image of in him who by work satisfaction of serving the needs of other people.”  1

 In Paul’s ministry he dealt with this issue 3 times (2 Thess 3:10, 1 Thess. 4:11-12) and bluntly confronted those who refused to provide for their needs and work.

 The Bible gives instruction as to what our attitude is to be about having a job and working. That we are to provide for our own needs such as for food and shelter,  2 Thess 3:8, and can also help us to contribute to the needs of others. To live our lives in this way is being obedient to God and brings honor to His name.

 But some Thessalonian believers were not living consistently with this biblical view of work. They were causing strife in the church, being busybodies, gossips and troublemakers  (2 Thess 3:11) by refusing to work and leeching off the rest of the congregation. The writer doesn’t reveal their motives. They may have felt it was beneath them to have a job or they may have believed that since Christ could return at any moment having a job and working for a living was pointless, or it may have just been laziness which the bible condemns (Proverbs 10:26; 12:27; 15:19; 24:30-34).  But it is not mentioned of their motives why they failed to work because none of them are valid.  There is no excuse for someone who has the ability and opportunity,  but does not work.   It is not biblical to expect others to pay your way in this world or to expect God to be our servant in giving us a free ride in this life. In fact we are instructed that we are to have nothing to do with one who does this, “but admonish him as a brother.” 2 Thess 3:14,15)  We are not only to have our doctrine right, but our  work ethic right as well. In these most difficult times we must do all we can to stand firmly and live obedient fruitful lives and not grow weary in doing what is good.

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