To Work Or Not to Work – Today’s Thoughts…
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 21, 2008
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. (Titus 3:14)
When the first Pilgrims landed on the rocky cold shores of North America they had a truly tough time. Many, over half, died within the first year of exposure, starvation, and disease. They determined from the beginning that they would try and share everything they had equally, but there was one problem they forgot to bank on, not everyone in their community was a Christian, and not everybody would work hard enough to support their fair share. That’s exactly what happens when you give people the choice to allow their sinful nature to rule their lives. It was the first instance of socialism in America, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” – Karl Marx, and it did not work. The Pilgrims wanted a redistribution of the wealth and it failed, just as it will every time it is tried.
Paul succinctly writes Titus that his congregations must “learn to devote themselves to doing what is good.” It is a learned activity because it does not come naturally nor is our selfishness necessarily changed when we are reborn spiritually. We would like to think it is but it is not. Godly living comes from practice. It is a learned attribute even in the life of a Christian. Paul said that learning to devote yourself to doing what is good is important so that people would not be lazy! It was so that the believer “may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” William Bradford and the Pilgrims learned this quickly because it was a matter of life and death. In fact, when the early settlers were allowed to own their own land and produce whatever they wanted and do with it as they liked, everyone had more than enough food to eat. Governor William Bradford wrote in his book “Of Plymouth Plantation,” “This had very good success, for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”
From the first winter where they had just a few kernels of dried corn each to eat, to a bountiful feast the next year. It was a miracle. So much so that they celebrated several days of thanksgiving to God for His blessing in teaching them, not socialism, but free enterprise and that hard work is blessed.
Folks, herein is a lesson for us in our day and age. We as believers should share with others that cannot work, like widows and orphans, but those who can work for themselves should. Instead of expecting the government to find us a job, provide money for us to spend, we should be about hard work and sharing because God has blessed us. Forced sharing allows for freeloading. Hard work and living a godly life allows for sharing out of the goodness of God. Do not be a freeloader, work hard and share what God has blessed you with.
This can be applied for today’s church as well. Too many freeload from the bounty of others and never tithe, serve, or seek to share the blessings God has given them because of their church, thinking instead that it is the duty of others to provide out their spiritual largess to feed them. How can we thank God for His blessing this coming Thanksgiving when we do not serve in His body? It is a matter of you deciding today to devote yourself in doing what is good, just as Paul shared with Titus.
This article is copyrighted © 2008 by Lee Hemen and if you reprint it, reproduce it, or want to use it in any way, you must do so in its entirety or get the written permission of its author.