|2 Thess. 3:10-13 ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies’.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
Here the Bible has a general rule: he who does not work shall not eat. It is therefore apparent that refusing to work is a form of disobeying God. Paul himself used to work though he was a missionary and a propagator of the gospel. He knew he would set a bad example for others if he shunned work. Paul had a real right to depend on the church hence he says in 2 Corinthians 11:7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
Freely? What does this mean? It simply means that Paul had the right to charge the church at Corinth for the gospel he took to them. What charges are these? This is not gospel fees but support. Yet Paul worked for his own supply, that he may highlight the importance of working.
I have a colleague at work who told me it has been hard for him to surrender his life to Christ because of his elder born-again brother who has shunned work. He fears that “deep” Christianity may make him behave like his brother, who doesn’t look for a job though he graduated two years ago. He is just crisscrossing the country, attending conferences and Christian gatherings. Is there any wrong with such? No there isn’t and yes there is. No because putting God first is crucial to any person who is aiming to be successful in this age and the age to come. Yes because first he may set a bad example to his siblings as the first-born. Then there comes the question of provision to the family. The ageing parents expect him to help in educating the siblings. Does he? Definitely he doesn’t. Now he depends on his younger brother for provision of personal necessities including clothing. The younger brother explains “I have talked to my elder brother to join full-time ministry or look for a job but he does neither”. How can this chap convince his younger brother that Christ is sweet when he is already a burden to him? How? There’s no way. Consequently his brother fears that “deep faith” may cause him to become careless in life. If this elder brother began working, then his younger brother may consider handing his life over to Christ. The conclusion is that work is important, it is a way of obedience to God; it is a way of preaching the gospel of Christ.
– johnstone katuku