Saturday, September 3, 2016

Does the Bible Teach it Is OK To Not Work? Ephesians 4:28

Sometimes work is hard and sometimes work is boring. The world is full of other activities that are more enjoyable and fun than work, so if you can get out of work by cheating, stealing, or by taking advantage of a welfare program then what is wrong with that?

The Bible says, "Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need."
 Ephesians 4:28.

"ANYONE..."
Some people steal and feel they can justify it by some reason or another, that they are owed, or they are deserving, or that this case is an exception, but the word anyone also means EVERYONE, so no matter who you are or what your reason you must not steal.

"STEALING..."
Many people do not understand what stealing is. Most people can see that taking something that doesn't belong to you is stealing, but others think that it is OK to steal if the value is small or the owner is impersonal like a business or government. Stealing is just as wrong if it is a dollar candy bar or robbing a bank.  When you steal you take the benefits of someone else's life, their time, energy, and labor. It is the same if you use a gun to rob a bank or lie on a form to get money from the bank or the state.

"WORK..."
God gave work to mankind as a gift. It was the first instruction to Adam in the garden making it foundational to all we are intended to do and be. Work was meant to be a blessing; it is our sinful nature that wants to twist it into something else.

Work is a blessing because it...
     * Increases self-image, self-worth, and self-identity.
     * Becomes the catalyst to develop character.
     * Develops relationships we would never know otherwise.
     * Provides a means of greater and sustainable wealth.
     * It can actually increase your IQ.
     * People who work are generally healthier than those who don't.
Just to name a few blessings

"USEFUL..."
Work is an activity that is useful to others, community or society, and it makes you useful to others. There is a purpose in honest labor that it benefits all those around us. The one who steals or lives off of other's labors is doing something not useful.

"HAVE SOMETHING TO SHARE..."
We do not work to amass our own stockpile of goods but we work to provide for ourselves and to have a resource to provide for others. Because we work we are prepared to share our goods wealth and blessings.

"THOSE IN NEED..."
There will always be someone in need and we are blessed by their creator when we reach out and become a blessing to them.

GOD
God does not mean for us to be idle, lazy or to live off the efforts of others. We are meant to be productive and useful. Instead of being persons who take the resources of others we are supposed to be giving to others.

Many of us hold the core belief that God is Love and that love expressed in his sacrificial giving of his Son Jesus on the cross to pay for mankind's sin. If God is to be an example then we should live sacrificial lives of giving and serving; such lives are not possible if we are depending on theft for income or welfare programs because these things undermine the work of God in us.