Entitlement & Commitment
“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, NKJV)
Seems like a harsh word from Paul, right? Don’t work. Don’t eat. Sounds like simple truth to me.
Being raised in the 60’s and 70’s, I watched my Dad and Mom work hard. Very hard. Dad had two jobs – one from 6 am to 4 pm at Viking Pump Iron Factory in Cedar Falls, Iowa as the maintenance man. I clearly remember riding my bike on a regular basis to take him his lunch bucket and water Thermostat during the hot summer months.
Once home from that grueling job in the dirty foundry making water pumps, he took about a half hour break, then left again until about 9 pm or so, to maintain his entrepreneur job which he started, named Martin Electrical Service. He had learned along the way how to do electrical work, which added to the household income, laboring an additional 20 hours or more per week, re-wiring residential houses, churches, and installing yard lights. (We have one in our front yard to this day, 24 years now in this house, which he put in!)
As a teenager in high school, I was expected and did, assist him. Crawling in attics to run wire, with the insulation itching my skin, wasn’t a very pleasant task. But I was small, it taught me the fruit of labor, and I learned something of hard work with its rewards. And I appreciated the cold Coke and Snickers bar he often bought me!
Dad was a quiet man. He didn’t say “I love you” daily. Only a few times in my lifetime. His actions proved that he did. Loud and clear.
And Mom – raising us eight kids – well, you can only imagine. Five daughters and three sons. Many today find it difficult (or even inconvenient to their desired lifestyle) to raise one or two. Commitment to the eight of us took a life laid down – a tremendous amount of time and effort. Not much time for much of anything else I am sure. But Mom did it. Morning prayer and Bible reading had become her solid foundation on which to stand through the full day.
Today, though scattered around the USA, we all bless the Lord for our parents who raised us right. Blood, sweat, and tears certainly along the way. But they did it. And I for one honor them for that, to this day.
|Louis and Lila Martin family – 1968. Cedar Falls, Iowa. Then only 7.
Then 8. 1973 family photo.
As you observe our society in our current time, one has to realize that the government in place is there to protect, defend, and provide for the safety of its citizens. And yet so many consider the government to be the savior of their life, their ultimate provider, the “high and mighty” who is supposed to be there to provide their food stamps, pay their education from kindergarten through college, send a weekly check for “lack of labor opportunities”, and what not.
We are required to help the poor, not the lazy and unwilling.
Expectations of government provision, coupled with the entitlement mentality, have so infiltrated our citizenship, and those who abide as such, that the benefits of hard work have been dramatically eroded in the lives of many. Rather than experiencing that which gives a good sense of accomplishment has been reduced to “hand me out” expectations from others, rather than providing for one’s family themselves. You didn’t see many fathers and mothers in my generation expect the government to do everything for them. They relied on God and did what was expected of them.
Didn’t one Democratic President once say, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” I guess that was too many decades ago to still hold true for today. Obviously, some think that. (In case you don’t know history as you should, it was President John F. Kennedy. He called on people to do what is right. That same current political party seems to do what gets them more votes, rather than what is for the good of the country and those who actually work.)
I hope we as parents teach our children to be hard-working citizens, using the gifts and talents that our Lord has given to them. One main purpose He has given us these abilities is in order to bless others with our gifts, not ourselves. Blessing others is Gospel truth. You reap what you sow. Giving out brings the receiving in.
For the Bible says, the eternal standard that will NEVER pass away…work hard. Share much. Reap the reward.
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9, NKJV)
No entitlements should be expected. Commitment gets the job done.
He Who gives freely knows what we do with what we have been given. Bottom line (as good accountants always say), we each will stand before the Lord and King one day, giving an account for what we have done with what we have been given. I trust you will receive a good commendation from Him. And then a great mansion to abide in! That is my expectation.
Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).
Love For His People, Inc.
P.S.S. I hope you get my latest book, Adventures in Courage, out this November. Paperback or Kindle versions. My 19th authored publication. (Yes, this is an advertisement!) Still time before Christmas! Buy here on Amazon: Adventures in Courage
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Now Think On This #374 – in the year of our Lord 12.11.18 – “Entitlement & Commitment” Tuesday, 6:00 am