Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Edifier du Jour-2 Thessalonians 3:10-15
10 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. 11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
For those hard-core anti-welfare folks, note that the phrase in verse 10 is "not willing to work;" too often, Bible-literate hard-cases on the right will use that verse to justify scrapping welfare. There are some adults who aren't working that are disciplined; not everyone who's unemployed is a hood hanging out at the corner. Students and stay-at-home moms both might be examples of the gainfully unemployed. If they are improving themselves (or their kids) so that the labors of their day will improve our society, then that shouldn't be called to shame. The segment of the modern population that might better fit this description is the young retiree, who may be healthy enough to work but can afford not to via pension, savings and Social Security. A stay-at-home empty-nest wife might be another example. Those AARP-eligable unemployeds are a block of parishoners who may well fit the busybody catagory. Older folks tend to be healthier when they keep busy, and working is a good way to keep busy. Regardless of whether we're young or old, God wants us to use the talents He gives us.

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