Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, NIV
This principle of working in order to provide for yourself was part of Paul’s foundational Christian teaching.
Some folks in the church were shy about working. Four times Paul refers to those who are idle (1 Thes. 5:14; 2 Thes. 3:6-7, 11-12).
You only need to look at the example of Jesus to see that hard work is a virtue, and that laziness is a vice. Think about the days of ministry, the miles of travel, and the constant demands from crowds of people. See Him asleep in the boat, exhausted from the sheer demands of His work, exhausted to the glory of God!
You see the same in Paul: “Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone” (1 Thes. 2:9). Paul is saying that his hard work was an expression of love for the church.
If you accomplish little, you will lose the respect of those who work with you. If you make it your aim every morning to put in a good day’s work and accomplish something significant, others will thank God for you and be glad that they work beside you.
Work is the putting forth of effort, energy, and exertion to fulfill a God-given task. Aim to be productive. Aim to be a person who is known for getting the work done. Be reliable. Deliver good work, done on time.
Does the example of Jesus (or of Paul) help motivate you? How so?