Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor,
doing honest work with his own hands,
so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
No, this post is not assuming we are all ex-convicts. The principle in this verse is striking to me, however, so I thought we could take a minute to think about it today.
Why do we work? We do honest work to have something to share with those in need.
Yes, we love our neighbor through the work that we do — serving, supporting, etc. We also love our neighbor with the proceeds as well.
Our work may produce actual produce (farmer’s market, anyone?), or a meal or a clean house for hospitality. Our work may result in paychecks — money that is used to provide physical needs for ourselves and others. Our work may be creating tangible items that others need and will use. Our work may be continual service: cleaning up, helping, lifting, protecting, etc. The possibilities go on and on.
Whatever the situation, what a gift God has given His children! On a daily basis, we have the opportunity to love as we fulfill our usual responsibilities. It’s not just drudgery. It’s a way to reflect the work of God in our own work and love others as He has loved us.