Summary: have the right attitude about work - share the effort
Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, and we did not eat anyone's bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13)
Someone visited an office and saw a sign hanging on the wall that stated
“Work fascinates me,” said one, “I can sit and watch it for hours!”
People have all kinds of attitudes about their work. . . . and their desire to avoid work as much as possible.
Saint Paul had difficulty with the church at Thessalonica. Some of the members of the community were refusing to do their share of the work. He wrote:
We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
What do you do with people who refuse to do their share of the work? It’s true in every organization. Some people do not do their share.
Paul had that difficulty in the church at Thessalonica. Some people were faithful at serving Christ, and others were not. But, those not working had many good excuses.
- Some of them thought they were too good to do plain everyday work.
- Some of them from Jewish backgrounds, believed that spiritual work was superior to physical work. They believed that only those who studied Scripture like the scribes were doing really worthy work, but not those who did manual labor.
- Some of those who were Greek didn’t like to work, and left most of their work to their slaves and servants.
- And then there were some from the Thessalonian congregation who believed work was no longer necessary because Jesus was going to return any moment.
They had many excuses for not working . . . like many people today. It is amazing how creative people can be in making excuses. The members of the church at Thessalonica had many good excuses, just as you and I do when there is work to be done. In the Garden is a living example to the principle that 20% of people do 80% of the work. It’s human nature.
Some of you are among that 20% that are responsible for 80% of the work done in In The Garden. We are eternally grateful for the ‘givers’ among you. We could not make it without you. And we couldn’t do without the 80% who come and visit with us each week.