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(2 Thess. 6:11-13)

Avoiding work

It is often true that if a man can avoid work, he does so. And yet he still wants to enjoy the fruit of work. As Terence, the heathen poet says: Ingenium est hominum a labore proclive ad libidinem. (It is characteristic of all human beings to incline from work to pleasure). All people like fame and wealth. Everybody wants to rise in the world and aims at a important position. However, when they are there and feel the work and worry they soon become disappointed.

The Book of Proverbs on idleness

The Book of Proverbs shows several terrible fruits of idleness. It leads to shame: ‘He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.’ (Prov. 10:5). Laziness also results in poverty: ‘Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty: open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.’ (Prov. 20:13). Another result of idleness is decay: ‘I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.’ (Prov. 24: 30, 31). Sloth can even lead to death: ‘The desire of the slothful killeth him: for his hands refuse to labour.’ (Prov. 21:25). To continue in idleness is a sign of stupidity: ‘He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.’ (Prov. 12:11).

Idleness is a spiritual and material problem

Since idleness is a spiritual problem as well as material, its solution is also spiritual. By Christ’s authority the Apostle Paul could give the command to work, since it is the Lord Jesus’ will. When work is done for Christ, the worker has a safeguard against getting caught in the ‘rat race’ and chasing after riches. This is true since the Bible teaches us to do all for the Lord Jesus, but never for money as an end in itself. For that matter, all secular occupations are really secondary to the Christian’s first calling as a disciple.

It is interesting to see what happens when neither the Holy Scriptures nor a government motivate people to work. Then more and more people feel no pangs of conscience or fear as they live of the welfare of their weakening society’s economy.

The Christian work ethics can be implemented only in light of the entire Christian faith. Otherwise perversions and corruptions result. The Apostle Paul has commanded the believers to work. He has pointed out how labour must be done for Christ.

Persevere! (2 Thess. 3:13)

When faithful workers see others who seem to coast idly along on a bed of roses, they may become discouraged, but remember the Lord exhorts us to persevere. God’s Word gives us the strength to carry on, to follow its exhortations and examples. Without God’s power, we are bound to become discouraged and bitter as we labour, especially as we work in His vineyard. Do not weary! Work for the Saviour until your earthly work is done.

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

 

James N. Spurgeon wrote:

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