Reflections: 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12

Earn Your Bread

2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 (NIV2011)
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.

In this passage Paul is encouraging the believers in the church at Thessalonica to work for a living. In the verse just previous to these he declares that those who don’t work won’t eat!

Oftentimes as Christians (or as people in general) we get in the habit of grumbling about the need to go to work and get the bills paid. This is a pretty common attitude, but it might be one that needs review. As Paul addresses the Thessalonians he reminds them of two important aspects about work. The first is that it prevents gossip from taking place. You may have heard the expression “idle hands are the devil’s playground” and this is likely one source for that little bit of wisdom. Stay busy and you won’t have nearly so much time for being a busybody!

The second, and equally important, reminder we get from this verse is that by working we earn the right to eat. Personally, as one who enjoys eating quite a bit, this meant a lot to me. Even through your own life experience I imagine the truth of this saying as been proved. We are often skeptical of a “free meal” and honestly would rather work to receive something that have it be handed to us.

This week I hope that you are able to take on your work, whatever it may be, with renewed vigor, knowing that it is the means by which you live a life that is pleasing to God, absent of gossip and full of Christ.

A prayer for you: Father, please bless the work of these hands, that the tasks they are put to are pleasing to You. Keep me from the bread of idleness but fill me with the holy bread of Your presence. I pray this in the name of Your Son Jesus, amen.