1 THESSALONIANS 2:9
“For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, howworking night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.”
I hate to be a burden on anyone. Back in 2010 I had to have a Stem Cell Transplant at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. My wife and I were there for about two months. The worse thing about that ordeal was being a burden to my wife and others. My illness and treatment affected a lot of people. I never want to cause undue hardship on anyone.
Paul felt the same. While he was in Thessalonica, he, Silvanus and Timothy worked to support themselves. We know from Acts 17 that they stayed with a man named Jason, but obviously they didn’t want to burden him or anyone in the church to meet their daily needs. They worked and ministered – the equivalent of today’s bivocational Pastor.
Self-reliance is a good trait for our children to learn. I don’t mean they should never rely on others. We need each other in this life. But we need to teach our children to provide for themselves and, one day, their families. Work is good. Work is honorable. Work is expected. Do it with joy.
But don’t miss why Paul did that. He wanted to be free of obligation to anyone so he could be free to preach God’s Word. Providing for his own needs gave him the flexibility to stay as long as needed in that city. We need to teach our children to work and preach, to work and evangelize, to work and live for Jesus. Work by itself is meaningless. Work for a purpose.
Why do you work? “Well Carl, I have to eat.” Is that the only reason? If you do not have a passion for what you are doing, find another career. And on the other hand, if you live only to work, you need to reprioritize your life. Ask the Lord what He would have you do and why. I promise He will show you, if you will listen.
Thank you, Lord, for giving me the strength to work. Thank you for allowing me to use my career to further advance Your kingdom. I do not take for granted the privilege I have to work.