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Volume: 800 March 8, 2021
Should We Help Everyone?
Today, especially among Christians, there is a desire to feed and meet the needs of those that do not have. That is a considerate and generous goal.
Paul, however, had a different view on such a practice of helping others. He said plainly, “… that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thessalonians 3:10). That philosophy would shut down welfare and other government handouts very quickly! Our modern idea of helping others is not biblical and healthy for any person or society.
We have so many today that can but will not work. Hands go out for someone to help them when, in too many instances, they will not do for themselves what they could. Many quickly take someone else’s money to meet their needs rather than work to provide their own.
Immediately, there are angry voices justifying others’ refusal to work. “Well, there are many that can’t find work now!” I agree; it can be rough. I know the feeling. I have had a hard time finding work in the past, but it was still my responsibility to provide for my family. It is not the taxpayer’s job to provide for them.
While I was waiting for the right position, I did “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do…” (Eccl. 9:10), even if it meant flipping hamburgers for minimum wage. I can also verify what the Psalmist said in Psalm 37:25: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” God can meet the needs of those that call and rely on His help.
The same angry voices justify, “There are some that cannot work!” Yes, that is true, but where in the Constitution is it written that citizens have to pay for others’ needs and wants? There is usually something one could do to earn some income.
Not working and making it easy for one to still have their needs and wants met is not helping them in the long run. It encourages further slothfulness and makes people more dependent on others paying their way rather than seeking God’s help and strength to work. Many truly handicapped people still work for a living. They may not be able to do what they would like to do to earn an income, but they do what they can without being on the dole.
Paul understood what happens to people’s character and lifestyle when they do not work. He set the example (II Thessalonians 3:9) for the right type of work ethic. The preacher labored “night and day” for the cause of Christ. Although he could have gotten financial support without the work, he would not. Paul practiced what he preached.
The preacher also commented on the character of some that did not work. It seems his experience with them was that, perhaps because they had so much time on their hands, they spent that time getting into everyone’s business (II Thessalonians 3:11). He advised that they get a job and to be quiet!
Work is good, and it is encouraged throughout the Word of God. From the beginning, God worked six out of seven days. Adam worked in the Garden of Eden. The Biblical characters that God used the most all had professions. Even Paul, when he was not preaching, mended tents.
While we can, we need to work. When we work, we also need to put aside finances for when we cannot. When a time comes that we cannot work, God will provide what we cannot.
“Even the animal world works while they can and stores up for when they cannot!” — Barbara Brinkworth
“Work” Is God’s Way!
Work for many is a way to be fulfilled, a means to better oneself, and a means to have what one desires. Hard work is embraced and desired by many. It is their means to happiness and a purpose in this life.
Work to others is a four-lettered word that saddens them and is something that they avoid as much as possible. Many have much disdain for hard work. Much of modern civilization is geared around ways to benefit without actually doing any work. Instead of dreaming of being a carpenter, doctor, nurse, or one with a bright future, many are dreaming of winning the lottery, getting someone else to do their work for them, taking advantage of government handouts, getting all they can from someone else’s hard-earned money, deceiving someone out of their money, and countless other schemes of getting their “needs” met without laboring for them. Laziness has become a way of life and the dream “job” for many.
God has much to say about “work” in the Bible. For those that desire to know what God says about the subject and desire to live the way that pleases Him, here is some of what the Word of God says about “work”:
God works. If the creator works, those that He created should follow His example.
Creation was some of God’s work.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; …” Gen. 2:2 Also: Exo. 20:9, Psa. 8:3.
God works at protecting His people. Ex. 1:31
Jesus worked. If we are Christians, or “Christ-like,” we should emulate Jesus’ work ethic.
“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17 Also: John 4:34.
God wants us to work.
“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;” I Thes. 4:11 Also: II Thes. 3:10-12, Ex. 20:9, Deut, 5:13, Ps. 104:23.
One will be happier if he works for what he gets.
“For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” Psalm 128:2 Also: Eccl. 2:24, Pro. 14:23, Eccl. 3:13.
“Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.“ Pro. 13:11 Those who try to get money an easy way without laboring for it often find that they are always broke and cannot keep what they have.
God can bless a hard worker, as He did Job.
“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” Job 1:10 Also: Psa. 62:12, Eccl. 3:13.
There is the work of the ungodly that God does not accept, and the godly should avoid.
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Mt 7:23. Also: Ps. 101:3, Ps. 135:15, Pro. 11:18, II Tim. 4:18.
A person’s character is often judged by his work ethic.
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Pro. 20:11 Also: II Thes. 3:8.
There is a reward for laboring.
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” I Cor. 3:8
Serving God involves work.
“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” II Tim. 4:5 Also: Rom. 16:12.
Worshipping God can involve working.
Israel had to work to make the tabernacle and Solomon’s temple: Ex. 40:33.
Work was required to repair the damaged temple, so Israel could resume worship: Neh. 2:16.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29 Also: John 6:28, Eph. 4:12.
God knows about our work.
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil …” Rev. 2:2 Also: Pro. 15:19.
One will not have his needs met if he does not work for them. He will have a hard life and will find himself wanting.
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Pro.10:4 Also: Pro. 20:4, Pro. 12:24, Pro. 15:19.
Laziness (slothfulness) hurts a person!
“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.” Pro. 21:25 Also: Prov. 13:4.
“Give him wages for his work, and let hunger pinch him if he won’t work.”
— Frederick Douglass
The busiest are the happiest. Employment certainly produces cheerfulness.
I have known a man who came home in high spirits from a funeral because he had the management of it. He worked at the funeral parlor. Work is the salt of life.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas Edison
The Duty of All
Certainly, it is the duty of the strong “… to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Rom. 15:1) It is the duty of the weak to become strong and not need to be pleased by being allowed the selfish luxury of putting restraints on the liberty of others that often pay the way (with their increased taxes) of those being slothful.
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” — Thomas Jefferson