Work; June 1, 2019

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

In some circles, this is about as politically incorrect a statement as could be made! We do need to recognize that this is not talking about those who are unable to work. In English it says, “will not work,” in Japanese it says, “don’t want to work.” The problem is, society has been delaying maturation more and more , especially since the end of WWII. Part of that has been from advances in education, with more and more people spending more and more years going to school, but the end result has been multiple generations of people who expect to live without having to work. Technology has greatly changed the definition of work, but the big issue remains people’s willingness and attitude. In America today, there are more positions open than there are people looking for work, but those positions often call for skills other than the simply academic. Mike Rowe has a very valid point in saying that a lot of people would be far better off if they went to a trade school rather than to a strictly academic institution. Whatever the cause, tragically huge numbers of people around the world simply aren’t interested in working for the benefit of others, and rather want society to support them. Various places are toying with the idea of a guaranteed annual income, and trials are even being done in some places. The biggest problem with that is the damage it does to self-respect and motivation. We all have a fundamental need for accomplishment, the sense that we are making a difference doing something worthwhile. Deficiencies in that area are a major cause of substance abuse and participation in gangs. We aren’t going to have a society of mature adults unless we start encouraging and expecting more maturity in our children as they grow.

Well, this is a soap box I could stay on for quite a while! I wasn’t the most mature person around when I got married at 20, but at least I connected the idea of income with value delivered. People today are amazed, even shocked, at the variety of jobs I have done, but I did whatever was available to provide for my young family. With that history, it isn’t easy to deal with able-bodied young people today who don’t want to do anything, for strictly emotional reasons. Mental health is a real issue and always has been, but I find myself wanting to just tell people to grow up! I do need to speak the truth in love, but I should not fail to speak the truth out of a misunderstanding of love. I need to speak and act in all humility, but seek and receive God’s wisdom for what is best for each individual, so that the lying traps of the enemy may be destroyed and people be set free to be and do all that God intended in the first place.

Father, this is a strong Word. You know whom I will see today. I pray that I would do nothing out of my own mind, but rather allow Your Spirit to speak and act through me, for the benefit of others and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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