Vol.VII No.VIII Pg.3
October 1970

No Work — No Eat

Jim R. Everett

Some at Thessalonica evidently thought that the coming of the Lord was imminent, so they had quit work and had become idle and busybodies. Because of Pauls concern about the immediate effect and far-reaching results of such a philosophy among these Christians, he wrote the second epistle utterly refuting the idea that Christs coming was looming. Pauls instruction was for each, in quietness, to work and to eat his own meat, and If any would not work neither should he eat, (II Thess. 3:10-12). A person who cannot work needs help but a person who will not work has no right to eat.

The Christian does a days work for a days pay. That might seem old- fashioned to those who greedily get all they can with the least amount of personal out-put but a Christians Master teaches higher principles — Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward, (1 Pet. 2:18). The employer — employee relationship is not identical to that of the master — servant, by virtue of degree, but the principle stands.

If a man agrees to work for a set wage, he is honourably bound to fulfill that responsibility and obey his employer. If he does not want to work there for those wages, he can quit and work elsewhere, but if he refuses to do the work agreed upon, he has no right to expect that man to pay him. Of course, the employer must realize that the LABORER is worthy of his hire, but no one has the right to exact undue benefits because the company has made a mint.

Thieves, gamblers and sluggards all thrive on the principle of something for nothing; eating without working; existing at the expense of others. In many societies there are too many thieves to catch; gambling is condoned because of the good revenue it produces (they never tell of the millions lost by the poor); and the sluggard lives off unemployment benefits. They have no right to eat the fruit of anothers labor.

The childrens story of the ant and the grasshopper is an excellent one to mould the character of every generation. The ant toiled in the heat of the summer while the grasshopper fiddled, danced and enjoyed life. The winter came and the ant snuggled warmly into his shelter to eat stored food, while the freezing grasshopper starved to death. The grasshopper learned his lesson the hard way. The wise man says, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise; which having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provideth her bread in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, 0 sluggard?. . .Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:so shall thy poverty come as a robber, and thy want as an armed man, (Prov. 6: 6-11).

It wouldnt hurt for a lot of people to step outside and take a look at the ant, step humbly inside to study their Bibles, and then live in all good conscience before man and God. It might start a famine, though, if some had to eat according to the amount they worked. —verett