Let him labor, working . . .

By Apostle Frederick K.C. Price

The following is an excerpt from Apostle Price's book, Living in Hostile Territory.

We are stewards of the things that God has blessed us with. We may have used our faith to receive what we have received, but those things were not conjured out of thin air. The Spirit of God brought them to us. Our blessings came as a result of our operating out of God’s laws and principles. Therefore, God will hold us accountable for what we do with those blessings. We cannot simply throw away the money and goods that God has given us.

Sometimes a person needs help because he or she does not know how to operate in the Word of God or in faith. The person may not really know whom he or she is in Christ. The person may honestly want to do right but may never have been instructed in the things of God.

I will help a person in a situation like that. I will give that person money, food, and whatever else he or she needs – along with the Word. But for someone who refuses help by telling me, "I don’t want to hear about the Word – just give me some money."

Forget it.

God’s philosophy

In case you think what I am saying is simply my philosophy, let me outline another situation and give you Scripture. There are many people who learn about the things of God and think they do not have to work anymore. Instead of holding down a job, they live off their brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Bible does not say, "Your brother or sister in Christ shall supply all your need." It says, And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). God has provided methods, such as working on a job, through which He will supply our need. Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15:

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.

Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

No free lunch

Here is what Paul is saying in these verses. If a person is walking around as a busybody, getting in everyone’s business, and wants to sponge off other Christians instead of holding down a job, that person should not eat.

Someone may think, "That is cold. That is not acting in love." Actually, love is not conning someone, or crying over some situation. Love is when one person tells another person the truth. The information may initially shock the person at the receiving end. However, if that person will take the information to heart, it may eventually help him or her deal with the situation he or she may be facing.

Understand also that what Paul says holds true for the person who is supposed to be the head of the household. If a man and wife have agreed that she will work while he goes to college and finishes getting his degree, then he is not the type of person Paul is talking about here. Paul is referring to the person who is supposed to be the breadwinner in the family.

It does not matter whether the person is a single parent, a married person living with a spouse, or on his or her own. If that person is the one who is supposed to work, that person should work. Working does not mean sitting around, living off the fat of the land or sponging off Christian friends.

Notice what Paul gives as our purpose for doing what he says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15. He says in verse 14 that we should not keep company with that person so that he [the person who does not want to work] may be ashamed. He is not going to be ashamed if you give him what he wants.

Sometimes a person needs to be shamed. As I mentioned earlier, just giving a man or woman what he or she wants can confirm them in their error. This confirmation can eventually destroy them. Since we all have to stand on our faith feet sooner or later, following Paul’s instruction is not closing up our hearts. It is using wisdom.
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