“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat“
For even when we were with you,
Paul reminded the Thessalonians of a principle he taught them while he was in Thessalonica: “If any will not work, neither shall he eat.” His gospel team did not receive any gifts without first working for their livelihood.
we commanded you this:
The Greek indicates that Paul’s team continually commanded the Thessalonians that working for meals is a biblical principle.
If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat
The Greek emphasizes the phrase “will not.” The issue is their obstinate attitude toward the subject of working for food. Laziness goes against many biblical principles. The question here is not refusing to give aid to those who cannot help themselves. He is not talking about people who cannot find a job or do not have the physical ability to work. The problem is people with a capacity and opportunity to work live exclusively off other people’s graciousness.
The rationale some Thessalonians gave for not working was that Paul taught the imminent return of Christ and that He might come back momentarily. When they ran out of financial resources, they started sponging off their fellow Christians causing relational problems in the church.
To be tough about the principle of work is to be kind to individuals and the church.
Many people today do not think in terms of principle. They hear an emotional story and respond, unknowingly fostering a parasite mentality in the church.
The problem here regards discernment. It appears that the only criterion for some in determining what we should do is “feeling.” If it feels right, do it.
God provides resources through our work. A principle of God’s creation is to work for our welfare. The only exception is people who cannot work for themselves.
I don’t thing Matthew is at all in contradiction to this verse.
Kent, I am not following your argument.
I think this verse teaches that God provides all the sources of our needs. So, we still need to work, out of that source God had provided.
Armstrong, Philippians 4 teaches your point but I don’t see how you get that from this verse, especially in the context of the argument of the whole book–see the Introduction.
I have a friend who told me that God told her not to get a job so that she can build a ministry. She has been out of work for almost 3 years. Her ministry is not moving and she is about to lose her home. She says God wants her to learn to trust Him.
Don’t you think after 3 years she would’ve gotten the trust being she has been receiving food and money from the body?
I believe that God wants us all to work even if we’re buillding a ministry. Paul made tents and still had a ministry.
Shell, it is always dangerous when someone says "the Lord told me." That can be very subjective. There are clear principles about work as we find in verse ten:
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
God does lead us but primarily through clear principles of the Word.
The verse mens what it says. Did God not say that "by the sweat of your brow," that means work. If you can work and don't it's laziness, pure and simple. Looking and not finding work is one thing, living off the state or county is another if you are able to work.
A strike against the lazy not the needy. The amount of fraud that goes into wrongly collecting welfare makes it unchristian, immoral, etc.
Now days we have taught people to feel entitled, the poor are standing next to Jesus in expectation of his fish, no lessons needed, just hand it over day after day.
If Jesus didnt give his fish to the lazy he would be racist, sexist, or greedy by American standard.
Dan, I am afraid that you are right. It says something about the decline of our nation.
I was wondering if the verse has not been taken out of context since Acts says the early church had all things in common and given James' contention that faith without works is dead. Could Paul have not been alluding to the fact that seeing another person on need and not doing anything about it was counter to that philosophy?
Donald, the biggest problem with your comment is a question of hermeneutics. 2 Thess is a didactic book teaching principles to be used universally and for all time by believers whereas Acts is a historical book teaching what happened to believers in the first century. Acts says that Judas went out and hung himself. Are we to do likewise? Obviously we can learn things for our lives and even doctrine from Acts when those passages are didactic in nature. The occasion of Acts 2 and 4 where it said that they had all things common had to do with a unique situation where the church was under persecution. No one would trade with or hire them for work. Out of necessity they had to pool their resources to survive. This is not always true in the Christian life. To apply that to all Christians of all time is an improper use of hermeneutics.
Your comment from James does not prove your point.
Christian hypocrites. Read more…you've missed the point. You make Jesus sad.
I don’t understand why is it so hard for people to see and hear the real teachings of this, basically it tells the Christians to take responsability for their lives and don’t leave everything to God,Jesus lives us but we must do our part to have a blessed life nor everything is granted to us by the Holy spirit, God provides us with health, love, strength, freeDom to think and choose but he is not going to just grant we shall work and planthe and harvest. That is what is described in those passages
Creator of heaven and earth YaHWeH/YAHSHUAH has established the principle from bereshit/genesis to Work six days and 7th day/Sabbath day is day of rest.Worship your creator on this setapart and blessed day-Genesis (2:1-2).Feed the poor, Widows and fatherless children is set principle in scriptures.Servants of YAH who work to preach Good news of Salvation are granted food and clothes. Apostle Paul is right in 2nd Thessalonian ” if anyone shall not work neither will he eat.
The meaning here is crystal clear, and everybody is ignoring it. We are commanded to NOT take money for preaching the Gospel here. The money and food we possess must come from hard work, building things, planting things, our labor, our work. We are not to take a penny or a morsel for evangelical outreach. Cruel political forces have distorted this passage to mean not take food stamps or welfare from the state. Apostle Paul is not addressing the state. He is addressing brothers and sisters in Christ, and is telling them to take no food or remuneration for preaching Jesus’s message. Work for your food, and preach for free.
A billion dollar industry has grown up in absolute defiance of 2 Thessalonians 3:10, and will not be dissuaded.
Ridi, you have completely missed the context of this verse. There were those in Thessalonica who refused to work because they thought the Lord was coming back soon. That is why the Holy Spirit through Paul made this statement. 1 Corinthians 9 argues the very opposite of what you claim.
No doubt there are many who abuse the right to support in ministry. Look at many TV evangelists.
We should not get so absorbed in Gods business with other people. I have known of God to command others to not work due to others covering other aspects of their spiritual life. I am one of them. When God commands He also nourishes and meets our needs. God commanded Joyce Meyer not to work, if not mistaken for 7 years to equip her for His Kingdom. She exceedingly suffered and at the same time God took care of her and her family’s needs. Look at her now! Joyce Meyer and her family still suffers, God takes still takes care of them and God blessed them through their obedience and sacrifices. Their Ministry is super prosperous. My point I’m indicating is don’t ever be surprised about what God commissions someone else to do. Stop trying to figure other peoples lives, you don’t even know what your next step is, and if you can not support your friends spiritual journey and how God is moving in their lives, you are not being a good friend.
Brave Heart, it is interesting that your argument is the exact opposite of what this passage is saying. To offer an experience in place of Scripture is a violation of biblical principle.