2017-09-21 / Opinions

Everyone gets tired of work at times; but it’s always necessary for the able

By ROGER ALFORD
columnist

One of my favorite stories is about the fellow who, tired of having to get up and go to work every day, decided he’d try life as a bum. So, he went into town and was going door to door asking for food or money.

He walked up to one door, knocked, and a lady stepped out.

“Ma’am, I’m awful hungry,” he said. “I wonder if you might have any food or money that you could spare for a fellow down on his luck?”

“Do you see that downed tree in the yard needing to be sawed into firewood?” she asked.

The bum took a quick glance out of the corner of his eye at the fallen oak, and said, “No, I don’t see it.”

“I saw you see it,” the woman said.

“Maybe you saw me see it, but you’re not going to see me saw it,” he said as he walked away.

The Bible speaks directly to able-bodied people who are lazy and unwilling to work. In 2 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul pointed out that, as the preachers of the early church traveled into various cities to share the gospel, they also worked with their hands to earn their way.

“We were not irresponsible among you. We did not eat anyone’s food free of charge. Instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you. It is not that we don’t have the right to support, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat” (2 Thessalonians 7-10).

In modern-day America, welfare programs, intended to be a safety net for people who are unable to earn a living, have become a way of life for some who are fully capable of holding down jobs and providing for themselves. That’s certainly not scriptural.

The Bible insists we are to work.

“Go to the ant, O sluggard. Observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer, or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provisions in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard. When will you arise from your sleep.”

No doubt, all of us get tired of work from time to time. It can be monotonous at times. Sometimes it’s absolutely grueling. But it’s always necessary for those of us who are able-bodied, if we are to be people of The Book.

Let’s be people who, when faced with a downed oak, will be the ones to say, “If you saw me see it, then you’ll see me saw it.”

(Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.)

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