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“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” 

Have you ever been hungry? I mean, really hungry? I can’t say I have ever been starved for food. I have had an occasional hunger pain, but I have never known real hunger. I believe, though, that if I did, I would do anything I could to get some food. Not the people in this verse. They wanted to be “taken care of.” Paul did not like that and let them know it.

I am not telling you that you shouldn’t help someone in need. But it is clear from this verse that you shouldn’t enable someone who could work but had rather beg. You probably see it all the time. It seems less and less people really want to work. They want someone else to work and then ask them for help. Don’t help them be dependent. Do all you can to assist them in finding a way to provide for themselves.


This is an easy one for parents. Don’t give your child everything they want. Let them earn it. I don’t believe in allowance for children, unless they are earning that money by helping with the household chores. As part of the family, they have an obligation to help. 

Now, you can’t withhold food. That would be child abuse. But you can withhold other things they desire. Remember, you are not raising children. You are raising child raisers. You are giving them instructions that will be passed down to your grandchildren. You are influencing the coming generations in the way you teach your children now.

Do you have a strong work ethic? Boy, my dad sure taught me to work. There was no choice. I got a job as soon as I could. I bought my first car with money I earned mowing grass. I am thankful my parents taught me that lesson. Are you teaching that? If not, start now.

Father, I know that everything I have is because of You, not my sweat. But I am thankful that You have given me the strength to work and earn. Help me pass on that privilege to others.


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