Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living. 2 Thessalonians 3:12
BACK IN THE days when the apostle Paul was still alive, there was a city called Thessalonica (rhymes with Formica). We know that Paul wrote at least two letters to the Christians in that city, because the letters have been preserved in the New Testament as First and Second Thessalonians.
Anyhow, there must have been a bunch of lazy people in that Thessalonian church. Maybe they did nothing but sit on their couches watching Rosie O’Donnell, buying things from the Home Shopping Network, and eating Oreo cookies all day. There were probably others who spent their time in cozy rocking chairs on their front porches, sipping cans of Yoohoo! chocolate drink, gossiping about the neighbors, and spitting in the dirt.
“How do you know that?” you may ask. Well, the answer is simple: Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12.
Paul wrote those verses to correct a problem that existed in the Thessalonian church. He even went so far as to say, “Stay away from any Christian who lives in idleness and doesn’t follow the tradition of hard work we gave you” (v. 6). And then, a few verses later, he suggested to that group of Christians that they live by this rule: “Whoever does not work should not eat” (v. 10). And then he concludes by giving them a clear command: “Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living” (v. 12).
You can “read between the lines,” can’t you? There were people in that church (Christians, even!) who were being lazy and not working. The Thessalonian church had more than one “couch-potato Christian”! And Paul says, “We’ll have none of that!” Why? Because God commands us to work. Why? Because he values good, honest, hard work. And if God values hard work, don’t you think we should, too?
REFLECT: Why do you think Paul kept telling the Thessalonians to get to work? Have you ever been told to “get to work”? Why? If you were one of the Thessalonian Christians being told to “get to work,” would you respond positively or negatively? Why?
PRAY: “Father, I don’t want to be like some of the Christians in Thessalonica, who had a reputation for laziness and idleness. I want to be known as someone who knows how to work and who works hard. Teach me to work hard and to value work the way you do.”