Get a Job

In the story of creation (Gen 1), it says God designed mankind after himself Gen 1:27 says: 1) So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. There is a unique characteristic of God  that I want us to consider today…. His Work Ethic 2) Gen 2:2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. God worked for six days straight & took a break to rest. 3) Gen 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. We often think that God designed Adam & Eve  to be on vacation in Eden. NOT SO Look at next verse 4) 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” The commandment to work  existed before mankind sinned. After sin is when work became difficult. 5) 16 To the woman he said,“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” After sin, life here got tougher. It’s important to understand that God created us to imitate Him. Part of that imitation involves work. In Thessalonica, the Christians had gotten lazy. They were waiting on Jesus to return & quit work. In today’s passage, Paul corrects them. 6) 2 Thes 3:6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. God made mankind to work. When we work, we honor him  for who He made us to be. Lazy people intrinsically go against Godliness. A lazy person is not a Godly person. If we want to be like God, We’ve got to behave like God & work. I was discussing this with someone recently & I asked the question: “Do you think God takes a day off?” They said: “For my sake, I hope not.” God is very busy & he wants us to be, as well. In addition to not being lazy, Paul also instructs the following: 7) In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. We’re instructed to KEEP AWAY from lazy people. Notice what he equates idleness to: Being Disruptive People who are idle have  too much free time on their hands. When the mind is not being productive,  negativity sets in. So does: -self-pity -self centeredness -gossip -slander People who are busy don’t have time  to worry about other people. This is a sin that many elderly people  deal with. I work with a lot of elderly people. There are those who stay busy, Despite their physical limitations. They participate in volunteer activities Such as: -Meals On Wheels -Food Pantry -Hospital Volunteer Work -Phone Ministries There are others who don’t. It has often been said: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Regardless of our age, We’re all called to work. There’s a lot of Kingdom work to be done  before He returns. Paul instructs us to STAY AWAY from idle people. They’re a bad influence. 8) For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. Paul didn’t draw a salary from Thessalonica. To make his point, he didn’t even take a sandwich  without reimbursing them. People are funny characters. One day they treat you kind. The next day they’re talking about you  behind your back. Paul said: “I’m not going to give them  anything to talk about.” He’s thinking: “I know they’ll gossip about me. Therefore, I’m not going to take anything.” 9) We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. Paul wanted to leave a model of hard work. He knew that that is how  God made him to be. He wanted others to see that, as well. 10) 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” NOTICE: This passage doesn’t address those who are UNABLE to WORK. It addresses those UNWILLING to WORK. There is a difference. As Christians, sometimes we think we’re  helping people through our giving. Manytimes, we’re doing just the opposite. We often reward laziness. In doing so, we’re hurting that individual. We’re helping violate what God  made them to do….WORK. Paul’s pretty clear: 11) “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” As individuals (& as a church), We don’t need to feed them. Why should you waste your hard earned income  feeding someone who refuses to work? You Shouldn’t! 11.5) 11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. We’re all called to: Get A Job Paul tells them to get out of  this entitlement mentality. He tells them: “I wasn’t entitled to anything & neither are you.” 12) 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. There is a dignity that comes  from earning a paycheck. We don’t need to deprive anyone of that. We don’t mean to, but we do. So what he’s told them is: “Do reward laziness.” The next verse is interesting: 13) 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. Sometimes what is good (or best)  is not to feed (or help) someone. We sometimes think that is un-Christian. But it’s not. It’s what is best. That too can be exhausting. That’s what he’s warning them about. Don’t wear yourself out with lazy people. Help those who want to work. Paul even takes it one step further: 14) 14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer. He tells us to not associate with lazy people,  that they might feel ashamed. We’re even told to  disfellowship from them. Tough love is hard,  but necessary. If we truly love someone (as God does),  that’s how we’ll treat them. The Bible gives us insight into: -who we are -who God made us to be

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