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We Gotta' Eat!
I want to ask you right now to think of your favorite foods. What about breakfast? Perhaps it's ham and eggs with a fresh pastry. For dinner, maybe it's a tender steak with onions and mushrooms. Oh, and a twice-baked potato on the side.

You may be getting hungry right now, so before you go and eat something, I'll tell you why I brought up the subject of food.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, we find that working is a prerequisite for eating. The Scripture says, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."

Notice the phrase, "this we commanded you." Paul, who was a spiritual overseer of the church at Thessalonica, gave them a command, not just a suggestion! Working and eating were inseparable.

Working Keeps You Busy
The following verse (2 Thess. 3:11) is also helpful in describing another reason Christians ought to work. It says, "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, not working at all, but are busybodies."

The verse suggests that working will keep a person from being a busybody or meddler in other people's affairs. This will keep you out of trouble.

Perhaps you've experienced a situation similar to this. The latest gossip is going around about somebody, and someone asks you if you've heard it. Instantly, like Jesus talked about, out of the abundance of your heart comes a statement like, "I've been so busy, I haven't had time to listen to the latest gossip."

Praise the Lord! That's a good report! Working will keep you from meddling in other people's affairs. If you meddle or are a busybody in other people's affairs, that will eventually lead to strife. The Bible says where you have jealousy and strife, you have confusion and every evil work (James 3:16).

Do you see how beneficial working is to your spiritual life?

On the other hand, working so much that you do not have time for God, your family, and your church isn't good. God, family, church and your job are all significant factors in life.

Provide For Your Own
The next reason to work is to provide for your family's material needs. First Timothy 5:8 says, "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel."

There is no stronger admonition in scripture about the importance of providing for your family. The word "infidel" means "unbeliever" or "non-Christian."

Thus, the scripture says, "If any does not provide for his own house, he is worse than a non-Christian." Providing for your family is one of the most important reasons for working.

Honor God With The Tithe
Another highly important reason for working is that we then have the ability to tithe or give a tenth of our income to the local church. It doesn't matter who you are or what your income is. You cannot afford not to tithe.

Tithing is the most basic way to have God supernaturally involved in our finances.

I once knew a woman named Esther. Esther had a husband who was disabled and unable to work. He and Esther received a pension check from the government each month. Out of this check, Esther gave a tithe to her church.

The governmental agency that worked with them found out about that and was not happy. They said as long as the government was giving them money to live on, they didn't want them to give money to their church.

Esther had a tough decision to make, but she quickly decided that she had to tithe—no matter what. She stopped getting a pension each month and started cleaning homes. It was hard work, and at first, she made less money than when she got a pension check.

However, I wish you could have met Esther. She recently went to be with the Lord. I saw her several times, and her smile was so precious. It told others how much the Lord had blessed her. She lived a long, healthy life. Almost all of her children and grandchildren are believers.

Some people would have said Esther couldn't afford to tithe. The fact of the matter is, she couldn't afford not to tithe. Like the scripture says, "I've never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread" (Ps. 37:25). Glory to God!

Honor God With Offerings
We find yet another reason to work in Ephesians 4:28. It says, "Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

The giving of offerings is what you do in addition to tithing. These people were supposed to labor, not at figuring out how to steal, but to work with their own hands that they may have to give to someone in need.

Working so that you can give to someone in need would apply to everyone, not just to those who were thieves at one time.

Let's review. Work is not meant to be simply a duty and obligation which we must do to pay our financial obligations. So far we've learned that work is for the following reasons:
  • To eat
  • To keep from being a busybody
  • To provide for the needs of our family
  • To tithe
  • To have the ability to give
Finally, though, the best reason to work is this—to lead your coworkers to the Lord! Jesus said He would make us to be fishers of men. If you're in the workplace, the "pond of fish" is bigger than if you were in paid Christian ministry.

Jesus did say that we are in the world, and we are to be its light! Have you witnessed to a coworker lately?

Copyright © by Nate Belkstrom Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Nate Belkstrom
Web site: Living Word Church
Pastor Nate Belkstrom graduated from Christ for the Nations Bible College in 1976, and he spent the next six years in the workplace where he experienced a difficult time connecting his work with his Christianity. It was there that his heart was touched to help other Christians in their workplace experience.

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