Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Posted on May 31, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business.”- 2 Thessalonians 3:11 (NLT)
“Did you hear what that guy just said? Jesus is coming soon and everything is just gonna burn up. So be ready.” Then as fast as that statement started to circulate around Thessalonica was as fast as some folks just stopped doin’ anything. I’m not too sure if they even did the “get ready” stuff because when you look at this conversation the apostle Paul is having with the church, there seems to be a few different ways to reconstruct the scene. I’m also not too sure that Paul did say to anyone about quitting their day jobs, but that’s what some folks did after they heard Paul preach.
Whatever the case may have been, there’s one thing that kinda stands out, and that is even though Paul doesn’t make a direct connection between what he’s saying in an eschatological way about being idle, BUT when he speaks on idleness, it comes in the context of what he says of the end times. Not sure on how folks woulda got the message that said to cease all labor, but I’m pretty sure it was all “water cooler” talk anyway. There is one that is for certain, however, and that is once the apostle hears “that there are some who walk disorderly among you, not working at all, but being busybodies” he provides a solution and it’s something you can still hear today… “If a man won’t work, he don’t eat”, that simple.
So, if there’s anything that you can get outta God’s Word, is that He doesn’t have time for a freeloader. When my life took the turn that it did, if I wasn’t the skillful freeloader I became, I starved and slept out in the elements, that simple. I didn’t feel like I was entitled to things (like they do today) but, in reality, I was just trying to avoid the “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life” judgement that got us in this mess in the first place. Not for nothing, but if that fruit didn’t get bitten into, we’d all be tending to The Garden and then maybe work wouldn’t seem like work the way we know it today. Thanx Adam!!
There’s something in all this today that I would also like to point out to you; basically, because it’s in Scripture and it’s something we need to be careful of and it’s the kinda folk who meddle in your flower garden… the busybodies. You know the type, has unasked advice, which isn’t bad at time of crisis, but not in the everyday. They seem to know a lot about the same people who know little to nothing of them. They express their doubts about who’s in charge or those having responsibilities other than their own. They cater to your ego, say they envy your life, then ask you to give insight on the affairs of others who really don’t concern you. After all, what’s the harm in that? But isn’t that the hissing tongue of Satan anyway? Hmm.
The funniest thing about the “busybodies”, who the apostle Paul is directing his comments to, is that he is speaking to Christians, or at least the ones who said they were. The nobler ones went on to quit their day jobs and began to preach, well re-preach what Paul was preaching, with the exception of doing any manual labor but asking for a paycheck anyway. Some of them had a more sinister approach to their slothfulness and that was to live off the charity of the church. These busybodies understood that Christians caring for other Christians in need was the church norm, so when their mother-in-law died (for the third time this year) these folks went directly to the church for money to help with “funeral costs”.
I say this in a very textbook way: responsible Christian living embraces work but shuns the idle tongue. If you need further assistance with the having faith, doing works, and bridling the rudder in your mouth; might I suggest the Book of James, it’s my go-to when I’m falling short (maybe it’ll help you?). Ultimately, Paul was upset that the idleness and gossiping – that the Thessalonian church was giving Jesus Christ a bad name within the pagan community. It’s never a good idea to allow Jesus’ name to be the punchline of any pagan’s joke, technically it should make them tremble in fear.
This is probably a good spot to say that God isn’t cool with being lazy and having an uncontrolled tongue. In a world that says, “get me a god, any god, and get me a god while I wait.” We should be inserting the Name Above All Names into their requests. If that means doing the work, then do it. If it means preaching The Word then preach The Word, but if you decide to quit your day job… eh, ya may wanna rethink that. We want our motives to be seen as selfless serving and not self-serving. Better to be a surrendered body than a busy one.
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” – Hebrews 2:9