7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8nor 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. 9We 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. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
11We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
Thoughts: On this Labor Day weekend, it is good to recognize the importance placed on work in scripture. Work is a spiritual experience. It can keep us from idleness (which is "the devil's workshop" some say). Yet work can also lead to workaholism, pride, focus on things and forgetting the blessing of God. But when work is done right, it can glorify God. This applies to students in school, or someone with a minimum wage job, or someone who is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. We need to recognize that God gives us and calls us to work. We are called to support ourselves- if possible. The curse of Genesis says, "By the sweat of your brow you shall till the land." It may imply that before sin, work was not so burdensome. But work is work now. Yet we may redeem our work by doing it for a higher purpose. God not only calls us to work, but calls us to account in our work. This means work should be done with honesty, sincerity, with high standards and morality and as a means to give to the needy. The needy on the other hand, should not simply take the hand out without making an effort to work themselves.
Prayer: Lord, give me work to do, and may my work honor you.