If you don’t work, you don’t eat

Paul showed himself to be an example for the Thessalonians. When he was with them, he worked so that he and his companions wouldn’t be a burden to the Thessalonian people. They earned their money and in this way they were able to eat. They preached the Gospel as they went, and they were also supported by the churches as they went on their way, but they also worked for their money so that they could live in the areas where they were making disciples and planting churches.

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

2 Thessalonians 3:7-10

So Paul gave the Thessalonians, and several of the other churches, an example to follow. As he came into a new location, he frequently didn’t have monies to support himself, so he became a physical worker while also doing his work within the kingdom of God.

In the same way, we want to help people to understand that work in the kingdom happens alongside of work in the world. By working in the world, we not only support ourselves and allow ourselves to eat and live, but we also get to know people and establish relationships with non-believers, thus allowing us to be able to share with them our faith. This is an important, practical component to working in the kingdom: knowing how also to work in the world.

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