Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…
In Paul’s day, and our own, there is a group of Christians who don’t want to work, expect the church or the government to provide for them from womb to tomb, are lazy, entitled, and make people feel guilty for not giving more and more to them. The rising affluence along with a sense of socialistic entitlement in the West has made this worse than ever.
This cultural entitlement explains why one of the most controversial Scriptures is 1 Timothy 5:8: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
I have gone viral to millions of young men on social media by triggering them through simply reading this verse without comment. The Bible has nothing good to say about able-bodied believers who will not work, or are lazy, and the rebuke is strongest for men who claim Christ but don’t work.
In our day, when it seems everyone wants to be a victim so they can be compensated and not have to work, or politicians promise to take money from people who go to work to give it to people who do not, the words of Paul are incredibly timely:
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)
Today, there is a record number of young people, especially young men, who are able-bodied but not working or looking for work. They are referred to as NILF – Not in Labor Force. These young men are living with their mother, mooching off her hard work, and, if Paul is to be believed, these young men need to either get a job or get kicked out of their mother’s house. Eventually, their hunger will motivate them to go look for work.
There is something dignified and honorable about working hard, being a responsible adult, and not being dependent upon others to provide for your needs. The less people work, the less people there are to mooch off in church and tax through the government which leads to the kind of unprecedented national and personal debt that is crushing the United States and other foolish nations. God’s people are supposed to think and act differently, as the Lordship of Jesus Christ extends all the way to the mechanic turning a wrench to the glory of God.
What current work has God given you to do in this season of your life?
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