Getting There

And so shall it be! “Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8).

God’s sense of fairness, justice and equity seems to run counter to the idea that one may receive something for nothing (the foundation of gambling). Too many in our country today believe their existence warrants reward and they are owed a living just because they are breathing. God, however, teaches His children that a person deserves only a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s labor; and idleness isn’t part of the plan.

When He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were commanded “to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15) and there is a deafening silence concerning sitting about idle on the couch all day playing video games (Ok, that’s a stretch but all of you hard-working stiffs out there know exactly where I’m coming from). And, God’s attitude didn’t change with the giving of the New Law under Christ. By inspiration, Paul wrote, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10; Oh, by the way, this is a command, not an option). It should be expected from this revelation of God’s will that He has a negative attitude toward idleness. “Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks” (Ecclesiastes 10:18). And, when idleness leads to destructive habits, like the gossip of busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13), a bum finds him- or herself on the wrong side of God (cf. Titus 1:10ff).

“Christian” and “idle” shouldn’t collide in the same sentence; a car stuck in park doesn’t get anywhere… fast. A child of God is perpetual-motion production machine, “redeeming the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Every moment is of value and dedicated to God (cf. Galatians 2:20) because “the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) and we “do not know what hour (our) Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). Since God is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9), we must “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Then, having spent ourselves in the labor of the Lord, we can “rest from our labors” (Revelation 14:13) and hear “well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) because God will reward us fairly and justly with a home in Heaven. But, there’s just no getting there if we are idle.

Jeff Sweeten