Day 18

A Call to Responsibility

from the 1 & 2 Thessalonians reading plan


2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, 2 Corinthians 11:5-9, Hebrews 13:20-21

BY Melanie Rainer

Oftentimes, Scripture abounds with rich nuance. It reflects forward and backward, teasing out references to the Old Testament or the New. It can be read in layer after layer, each one peeled to reveal a deeper truth about our relationship to God and His to us. Sometimes, a passage is the opposite: it gives us truth, straight to the point. It tells us how to live, how to love, how to spend our money, how to be saved. 

“Clarity is kindness,” is a phrase I live by, learned from my dearest mentor. In today’s passage from 2 Thessalonians, Paul is delivering the same kindness. There’s nothing nuanced, tucked between flowery phrases, hinting at something only the most educated will understand. Paul serves it straight up: work. Work hard. Don’t be lazy, or idle. And don’t grow weary in doing this good work (2Thessalonians 3:13). 

Work was a creation mandate, established even before the fall. God worked (He created). Adam worked (he named the animals and had dominion over them). And for the rest of time since, the people made in God’s image work and will work. Was Paul talking about a 9-to-5 career, a desk job and an expense account? No, he wasn’t. In fact, the historical Protestant work ethic mixed in with the rags-to-riches American dream has undoubtedly distorted our view of work as a chiefly economic practice. But work is innate to our life and our calling as Christians, whether that work is at a Fortune 500 company, a grocery store, a school, caring for a sick parent, or taking care of a home and children. Paul doesn’t distinguish or categorize work: one type is not better or more righteous than the other. But he is clear on one thing: work matters. 

Work is, in fact, critical to our flourishing as humans. Our witness to the gospel is bound up in our work, in the way we care for others and work for the good of those around us. In his book Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller writes about work being a “channel of God’s love for his world.” So, if work—be it at home, at a hospital, in a church, or at a restaurant—is a way to carry God’s love outward, it makes sense that Paul would be aghast at idleness. 

Work will bring weariness, pain, suffering, frustration. It will break us, mold us, and tempt us to create idols in our hearts. Work is broken by sin and ungodly motivations, but it still belongs to God. He made us to work, and Paul exhorts us to not grow weary in this good, good work of image-bearing, creating, and serving the God who loves us. He has commissioned us to be His ambassadors in this busy, working world. 

Post Comments (48)

48 thoughts on "A Call to Responsibility"

  1. Hannah Gealy says:

    I can’t definitely grow weary in doing good because I say yea to too many things. So I tend to burn out. So let me feel led to do the work the Holy Spirit is calling me to do and say no to anything else. Bc while there are plenty of good things in this world, we need to be able to say no to good things so we can say yes to the best things

  2. Mary-Ann Girgis says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today! I appreciate the love and the wisdom here so much ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Rachel Drummond says:

    A timely reminder that the things I do at home as a wife and mother, while tedious at times, are a reflection of the Gospel of Love!

  4. Colleen Politanski says:

    Blessed to still be able to be doing !!

  5. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord i thank you!

  6. Brandy Deruso says:

    I shall do the work of the lord!

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