Tag Archives: Christians

If any would not work, neither should he eat.

The people that try to paint Jesus or God as a socialist have obviously not read scripture.  As always there is a danger when people go to the extreme on any teaching, and it is the same with giving others money, food, help, etc… What we are taught constantly in scripture is that we should not be lazy, gluttonous, or envious of what others have.  Now, I’m no legalist, as any of my regular readers will know, but I do believe we are given guidelines of what will truly make us content and given the direction that will make us the most efficient and “best” human possible while on this earth.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

It’s pretty clear; you don’t work you shouldn’t eat.  If you are idle, if you are not seeing to your own provision, you should not eat.  In our society food is usually bought with money, so that means you should be gainfully employed.  It can also include working the land for your own food.  I am dismayed as I look around this great country, the U.S., and find people not willing to see to their own provision.

Now, the scripture is also clear that if someone has need through no fault of their own, we should see to them.  Our welfare and disability system here in the U.S. makes a mockery out of this idea.  As one great teacher I know once said, “if you can talk on the phone, you can work.”  Yes, times are tough and jobs can be hard to find, though I question whether it is jobs that are hard to find, or people willing to work, to do anything gainful to make some money, including working in the fields, or washing dishes.  The ability to work with and through computers and the internet have almost guaranteed that a vast majority of people can indeed work.

I cannot tell you, dear reader, how much I respect the waitresses, the garbage men, the presidents and CEO’s of companies, the teachers, the accountants, the custodial staffs, anyone that sees to their own provision through work.  Money in this world is for taking care of oneself, one’s family, and others that truly cannot earn a living of their own; children, the elderly, those completely mentally incapacitated, etc…  However, that is the job of the church, not the job of the government.  Further, it is not my job to manage your money, it’s your job.

In that same chapter, Thessalonians also gives another reason to work; if you don’t, you tend to turn into a busybody.  A busybody is someone who sticks their noses into other people’s business, other people’s sins, other people’s lives.  If you are gainfully employed you are seeing to yourself and those to whom you are responsible.

In short, if there is anything you can do to be gainfully employed, you should be.  There should be no unnecessary mooching off of the government, the brethren, or taxpayers.  For the truly needy, the church should be a help.  Laziness, idleness, OR a lack of legitimate, earned income is not a virtue.  It is indeed scripturally on the males to be the major breadwinners and to take care of their families.  Women too can, and should play a role in work and support; neither gender should be lazy, but there is something especially fulfilling for a man to be gainfully employed, and something especially annoying or painful about a man that will not work, nor seek work of any kind.

We, as believers, should be unbelievably generous, loving, helpful, and kind.  We should also be industrious in some form, be good stewards, occupying until the Lord returns, or we go to meet him in death.  While we work in the occupation God leads us to, there is also time for rest, and fun, and relaxation.  If we find ourselves in dire straits, or unable to work, there is no shame in asking our church family for help and to accept help when and where it is given.

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Filed under Musings, Of Interest, Religion and Politics

The just shall live by _____ ?

One of the fundamental aspects of the Gospel of Christ is that we are saved by faith.  I’ve written a previous article on faith, pistis in the Greek, which you can find here; What is Faith? The point of this new article is to underscore how believers are to live.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Doc Scott, my old pastor, used to point out that when scripture repeats itself; when God finds a concept so important that He says the same thing over again, it is time to pay attention.  The fact that the just shall live by faith is reiterated in scripture, it is repeated, it is important.  There is nothing else that fits in the blank the way that faith does.

It does not say the just are to live by works, by love, by grace, by money, by physical might, etc… Once we are saved, we are to live by faith, and faith is trusting.  As we live our lives and go along, we’ll make mistakes and stumble and fall…and climb.  No matter what, we should trust all along the way.  God is out for trust; us placing our trust in Him.  In this life we WILL have tribulation, and the proper response is to trust in God.  Exercising trust builds it like a muscle that we use, we don’t technically gain more muscle, but the muscle we have grows stronger.  I would also note that Paul would not have felt the need to exhort believers to a life of faith if our walk as believers was paved with thorn-free roses, puppies, and rainbows.

Many act like living by faith is easy…that it is a simple matter to trust God.  The heroes of faith would surely disagree.  Ever read through the Psalms?  David shows the ups and downs of walking in faith, and he is a man after God’s own heart.  Believers are never promised a life free of trials, those trials give us an opportunity to flex our faith and keep turning to God, to keep trusting Him, even if it is only with “fingernail faith.”  That faith, that trust that latches on and refuses to let go, even if it but a fingernail hold we keep on Christ’s robe…because of course, in the end, He is the One that has a hold on us.  Live your life day-by-day trusting in God; you won’t be disappointed.

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Filed under Christianity, Theology