In 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 Paul prides himself in his hard work. Paul was a tent maker (Acts 18:1-3) and spoke frequently how this working morning and night was a blessing to God’s church (1 Cor. 4:12, 1 Cor. 9:6, 2 Cor. 6:5, 2 Cor. 11:23, 1 Thess. 2:9).
Three Biblical Reasons to Work?
1. Christians work because of the God ordained relationship between working and eating.
Matthew 4:4 says man does not live on bread alone, but this does not deny the reality that man does live on bread. As created beings we have a physical need for food.. The biblical method of satisfying our hunger is through honest work.
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV)
He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. (Proverbs 28:19 NIV)
Work is, therefore, a legitimate means for acquiring goods necessary for survival.
2. Christians work so that our families do not become a burden to the church body.
Money is a limited resource. We either consume or contribute money. Work frees us from becoming consumers of the resources of the church.
The church should not help someone who is not in genuine need because in the future the church might be unable to help another who is in genuine need. We work so we will not consume the resources that ought to be directed towards those who are legitimately in need.
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8, NIV).
3. Christians work so we have something to contribute to the church.
Our first goal is to make sure we are not consumers of the church resources. Our second goal is to become contributors to good works of the church. As such, people are encouraged in Acts 20:34-35 to hard work and help the needy. Moreover, Ephesians 4:28 says Christians must work to have something to give to the needy.
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. (Ephesians 4:28 NIV)
This post is a continuation of a series of the faith foundations regarding the Bible and Money. In this post I intentionally limited myself to a one page discussion on this topic, so what did I miss?
Photo by *susie*.