Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. Paul’s words to the “idle” can seem quite harsh if you misunderstand who they are directed towards.
The suggestion that “those unwilling to work will not get to eat” (v.10) seems cruel until you understand that Paul is addressing those who are unwilling to work. In other words, he was warning those who were fully able to work and had work to do, but chose not to, for whatever reason.
Paul was not attacking those who were involuntarily unemployed or who were unable to work. When it comes to the unemployed and those unable to work, Paul follows the Christian obligation to provide help for those who cannot maintain themselves. That is why he encourages the Thessalonian Christians – and us – to “never get tired of doing good”.
If we’re honest, many of us earn more money from work than we need to earn a living. If that’s the case, then we have an obligation to give our money away and share it with those in need. Paul encourages us to give freely and spontaneously to others – to use our money to do good.
As we do so, we discover that God blesses our work and our money even more, because he is a generous God. Let’s all do good and as we do so, we become more like him.
THINK IT OVER
Think about the following:
- What do you need to change about the way you share with others that will help make you more like Jesus?
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.