2 Thessalonians 3:6-9
“Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us.” vs. 6
Even though followers of Jesus are called by grace and live by grace, they are generally seriously upset by those who sit idly by and allow others to do all the work. It’s one of the by-products of living in community. Those who live in Christ resist individualism and value the generous sharing of gifts to address the problem of poverty in our communities and in the world. We seriously want to help each other. But at the same time, from the beginning Christians have had an issue with idleness. In Thessalonica, where believers were looking for the imminent return of Christ, evidently some had chosen to quit working as they waited. Paul is not pleased and points to his own example–even as a preacher of the gospel, he had also earned his own living. That theme resonates for us too. We believe that there is value in work and that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Unfortunately that conviction can lead to rejection of government welfare programs that are designed to provide a safety net for the poor. While it is true that there is great value in work, sometimes, particularly when children are involved, people need a big helping hand in periods of unemployment. Hard work and compassionate generosity will both be highly prized by people of faith.
Thought for the Day: What are the negative effects of idleness?