WHO YOU ARE CHILD OF GOD…LOOKING AT EPHESIANS 4
“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”-Ephesians 4:28.
Work is good…sadly we live in a time when this actually may be seen by some as a controversial statement. Some spend their days just existing and living off of other people. The Scripture has much to say about those who are lazy and will not work…everything from describing them as sluggards in Proverbs to Paul who says, “if you don’t work you won’t eat.” The Bible is not speaking of those who cannot work, but those who will not work. People are pushing systems today that promise the government will take care of everyone…people are describing things that we used to work for as basic human rights…therefore requiring that government provide them. Biblical compassion requires that we minister and take care of those who for some legitimate reason cannot take care of themselves…but if never promotes laziness or the abdication of personal responsibility. Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:8…”But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” There is nothing godly or admirable in laziness, and living off other people when you have the ability to work.
Paul in our passage speaks of the wrong of taking that which does not belong to you. We all have watched looters raid stores during demonstrations in recent days. For some reason they believe that they have a right to take, to steal, things…that they are owed. What an incredible time we find ourselves in…the only thing someone is owed is what they have earned through work, not what they can steal. We work to take care of our families, and we work in order to give to those who have legitimate needs. Once again there are those promoting an economic system that makes all people equal in what they have regardless of people’s willingness to work for what they have. The Scripture teaches us to give out of a heart of genuine concern for others…but if we buy into the lie that no one needs to produce and work…what will we have to share with those in need? Some of the most generous hard working people I know follow the biblical mandate to work hard…take care of your family…and meet the needs of the genuinely poor. The Scripture calls all people to work for what they have…it condemns slothfulness and stealing from others. There is virtue in hard work…there is no virtue in being lazy and living off others when a person is able to work