This past Sunday in church it was my turn to do the Bible readings on which the sermon text was based. I love giving the readings because there are few things to equal the majesty of reading Scripture out loud.And it was an extra pleasure because the New Testament readings were one of my favorites:2 Thessalonians 3: 6-10
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 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.”This echoed an interesting post my friend Enola Gay recently had on her blog. Her grandfather sent her a piece called The Truth of the Welfare State, which expresses the frustration many of us feel:
Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?
I guess we could call the program “URINE OR YOU’RE OUT”!
This all reinforces the Great Divide in this country. No, it’s not the Haves vs. the Have Nots. It’s becoming the “Work” vs. the “Work Nots.”
Please note the Bible verse says “The one who is UNWILLING to work.” Other versions say “shall not work” or “will not work.” This differs greatly from CANNOT work.
People cannot work for a huge variety of reasons. Some are too old. Some are disabled. Some are too young. Some are single mothers (I distinguish between women who have been abandoned by their men versus women who crank out babies for profit). And, especially in this economy, many are simply unable to find work, no matter how hard they try.
This greatly differs from those who WILL NOT work.
There are very few among us in this nation would are not willing to help those who are truly in need. When we see people who are UNABLE to work, collectively there is a deep-seated instinct to help. That’s one of the reasons I admire and support such organizations as the Union Gospel Mission, which takes people off the street and “teaches them to fish” rather than merely “giving” them fish (to paraphrase the old saying). Charities such as this are privately run, efficient, and deserving of praise.
But just as there is a deep-seated instinct among us to help those in need, there is equally a deep-seated resentment among us to have our hard-earned money forcibly removed from our pockets and “redistributed” to those who, quite often, are UNWILING to work.
Giving money to those unwilling to work is cruel. It destroys their incentive, ruins their work ethic, and supplies a false sense of entitlement. It rips families apart (since the man is no longer necessary as the critical breadwinner). It teaches children that age-old virtues are unnecessary.
In short, giving un-earned money may well lead, directly or indirectly, to the destruction of our nation. It’s a chain-reaction downward spiral, apparently encouraged by our government so it has a built-in cadre of dependent voters willing to keep the entitlements coming if only they vote in the same ol’ politicians.
I would dearly love my girls to inherit a nation worthy of them. We are endeavoring to teach them that hard work, self-sufficiency (from government assistance), and independence are the tickets toward true freedoms. But our government is burning these notions down around their ears.