Read 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13
11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives,refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you,dear brothers and sisters,never get tired of doing good. (NLT)
We sometimes hear of people or meet people who claim to ‘live by faith’. This can be something rather commendable or something rather to be condemned. On a positive note,some are out and about doing God’s work and not getting much financial reward for it. They helplessly trust in God to provide for them.
On a less positive note,some give up on earning any income or supporting themselves and rely on other Christians to support them. In such cases it is not so much a case of living by faith but a case of living by feeding off the generosity of ‘nice’ Christians. This can apply to individuals who simply want to opt out of working for a living and are attracted to the pious aura of the ‘living by faith’ mentality. Or it can apply to those who unilaterally and without seeking counsel from others decide that they are going to do a work for God and get others to underwrite it.
Of course we are to be supportive of those doing God’s work and each of us to a degree lives by faith. But take note of what Paul is saying: the normal rule is to earn our own living if we have this opportunity. Living by faith is never to be a spiritually sounding euphemism for old-fashioned sponging off others.
We are,as Paul says,not to tire of doing good. But let’s be discerning as to whether that ‘good’ is truly good.