Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Dignity of Labour and Divine Commissioning
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.” Vv. 10-11
It’s easy to think that working is just a simple means to make money and be occupied. But, in the passage of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, we can see the Apostle Paul speaking about the role work plays in the Christian life. Throughout this passage, Paul emphasizes the idea that it is important to work to be self-sufficient and not needing to rely on others. We should be self-sufficient so that our dedication to Christ cannot be wavered by others. In verse 6, we can see the word “command” being used to describe the idea that we should keep away from those who are idle. This shows that it is not a mere suggestion from Paul that we should work, but rather a divine mandate from God to work and work for the cause of Christ. As Christians, we should not neglect our responsibilities and become idle, but rather should work hard and become an example for others. Paul emphasizes the idea that he worked hard to set an example for others. Paul was still working as a tentmaker, while also preaching and proclaiming the word of God. He did this so he could put himself in a position to be able to offer help to those around him.
In verse 10 Paul states “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” In this verse it is important to understand that Paul is talking about able-bodied men and women who are purposely choosing an idle life with disruptive behaviors. These behaviors not only take us away from supporting our families but they take us away from our spiritual walk. In verse 11, he goes on to call individuals “busybodies”, which means that instead of being busy with work, people are being busy by involving themselves in inappropriate manners and wasting time. A major reason it is important to not be idle is that when people are idle, they are more likely to fall victim to the temptation of sin. Rather than using our spare time to meddle in others' lives, we should use that time to meditate on God's word and proclaim his name. It is also our responsibility to identify those being disobedient. However, we should not enable unruly believers to continue their disruptive behaviors, but rather ‘warn them’ as you would for your brother and sister.
Father, thank you for showing us how work plays a role in us living Godly lives. Lord, may we as a community become more disciplined in working for the cause of Christ and not falling into an idle lifestyle. In Your Name we pray, Amen
Thought of the day
Work is a God-given responsibility for every able-bodied individual. We should use our time wisely for the greater good, rather than fall into sin.
Mrs. Marissa Mathew
St. John's Mar Thoma Church, NY