loving and wanting to work
"Indeed, when we were with you we used to lay down the rule that anyone who did not want to work should not eat." —2 Thessalonians 3:10, our transl.
Paul surprisingly taught that, if a Christian does not want to work, he:
- should be avoided (2 Thes 3:6),
- has wandered "from the straight path" (2 Thes 3:6),
- has not followed the tradition (2 Thes 3:6),
- is living a life of disorder (2 Thes 3:7),
- should be singled out to be ostracized (2 Thes 3:14),
- should be made "ashamed of his conduct" (2 Thes 3:14), and
- should be corrected as a brother (2 Thes 3:15).
It is obvious that wanting to work should be a high priority for Christians. It is not primarily a matter of working but of wanting to work. If you are too sick or old to work but you still want to work, you are doing God's will. However, if you are working hard but do not want to work, you are not in God's will.
The main reasons we want to work should not be the nature of the job or the amount we are paid. We can want to work because we love the Person we are working for, the Lord (see Col 3:23). Receive His love, and work accordingly.
Prayer: Father, may I not work for perishable food but for love of You (see Jn 6:27).
Promise: "May He Who is the Lord of peace give you continued peace in every possible way. The Lord be with you all." —2 Thes 3:16
Praise: St. Augustine wrote the following motto on the wall of his room: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone" (see Eph 4:29).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Men and Work on audio AV 88B-1 or video V-88B.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002