After a long winter and somewhat wet spring so far, the past week or so has been filled with a great deal of work, in addition to the full time work I do in the corporate and ministry worlds. In the middle of the week, Pat and I got the patio furniture out and placed in the rear of the house – we also put out the new hoses and hooked them up to the new hose reels.
Then yesterday, I started on cleaning the garage which is a semi-annual task made more difficult by the fact that Pat installed some ceramic tile in our kitchen this past winter and there is tile dust all over the place. But we knew the price going nto the project, and it was definitely worth it; the backsplashes look great. Just now, it’s time to pay the piper and get things back to normal. So several hours of work dusting everything and getting the equipment ready for the summer started my list of chores.
Admittedly, I am a little out of shape. I didn’t intend on being a week-end warrier or anything, but I couldn’t believe how soon I ran out of energy. I have to build up my stamina. So today, I finished the job in the garage. Of course, there were other things to do – picking the grass out of the flagstone divider wall near the sidewalk, cleaning the dog run, putting out all the bird feeders, mixing the hummingbird food, getting the outdoor fountain up and running, painting the plant rack on the back porch and a number of other things to get the outside set up for the season.
Oh, I forgot to mention cleaning the cars and getting the winter floor mats out, washed and put away for the summer. There’s still the cleaning of the gutter drains which have filled with leaves and grime from the fall and winter. So I am sure that by now, you get the idea. There’s no shortage of work to do around the house this month.
On top of all that, we are getting ready to close on the house for Kristin and I am sure that there is going to be a huge amount of work to do there are well. Suffice it to say that I won’t have to worry about getting caught up anytime soon. Admittedly, I am the kind of guy to likes to specialize in tasks that are of short duration and can be completed. But when you string them all together, I can get a little discouraged when the tasks get overwhelming with no end in sight.
But the point of tonight’s post is to talk about what the Bible says about work. For years, I was involved in a career transition ministry and I was amazed at the number of people who really didn’t take their work seriously. They were easily discouraged or frankly, in many cases, lazy. The Bible distinguishes between those who can’t work; due to illness or infirmity, and those who will not work. Even though there may be many reasons why people won’t work, the Bible doesn’t have much tolerance for any of them.
Now that doesn’t mean that God isn’t tolerant of people who can’t work – there’s a special place for them in God’ heart. But most of us don’t consider the emphasis that God places on our desire and willingness to work. However, Paul is very clear about it in 2 Thes. 3:6-10, when he is addressing the church at Thessalonica. We are told, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor 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. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
Now I know that the verses are longer than usual, but this is one of the most important prohibitions against idleness in the entire Scripture. And so it’s important that we pay attention to it. My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God does not like idle hands, at least when you are capable of working but choose not to. So honor the Father by doing your part to be a good example for others. My prayer is that you won’t be overwhelmed by all the things you may have to do and that you will encourage other to be productive, working ambassadors of the living God. Grace and peace…