God's word in today's world

On your own two feet

Welcome 2019! May this year bring you loads and loads of joy and peace. May we enjoy walking through God’s Word and grow spiritually while we do it so that we can make a difference in the world.

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The next six devotionals will end off 2 Thessalonians and then we start looking deeper into the letters to Timothy.

Here we go!

One of our daughters worked as a waitress at a restaurant in town. The waitressing served as personal growth and a way to earn extra pocket money. When she came home after her second day’s work, I could see something was bothering her. I asked her what was wrong. She was close to tears, saying she never knew there were such rude people in the world. A client had treated her very unfairly and badly, and she couldn’t say anything and just had to take it.

We had a good chat about the incident. I explained to her that there were people in the world who had different beliefs and ways of doing things and that in her life she would often be hurt by people’s actions. The question is how she would respond to that. Would she be able to deal with such situations the way Jesus did?

I’m grateful that my daughter could learn about life at such an early age, even though it wasn’t easy.

I started working at an early age. I got my first job at 16. Every Saturday morning I worked at my girlfriend’s father’s second-hand car business. Washing cars. But that was not all. Every morning I delivered Die Burger in our neighbourhood. And I struggled getting up so early in the morning.

At university I worked more than I studied. I was a bus driver for Intercape bus services. I worked at two restaurants and at one of these I was the manager. I even had my own irrigation business, Sproeikor.

Why am I telling you all these stories about work? Because we’ve all been instructed to work. We have to work. All of us must go out to work. We must know where money comes from. If you want to get somewhere in life, you have to work.

Paul is very serious about this too. He is very direct about it: 7We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you, so get on with it. We didn’t sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us. 8In fact, we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn’t be burdened with taking care of us.

10Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”

11 And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. 12This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep.

Each of us must do our bit and work hard. And more than that – we must tell others if they are lazy. If you don’t work, you won’t eat either. As simple as that.

And parents: Listen to this. We shouldn’t prevent our children from growing and learning by starting to work at an early age, even if you can afford to support them financially. Yes, we would all enjoy getting our children a brand-new car from the nearest car dealer if we could, but the question is: Is that the best for them?

If we give our children everything, we deprive them of experiencing growth and learning. I’m not saying parents shouldn’t buy their children a car, pay for their studies, and give them a springboard in life. But we as parents have a major responsibility to teach our children to appreciate what they get and to help them not to be lazy, so that one day they will be able to stand on their own two feet and live their calling.


2 Thessalonians 3:7-11


What does your work look like?

Do others recognise your calling?

What could you do differently?


Father, I take my job for granted. Sometimes I actually live as if it is a right. But my calling and my responsibility is to work to the best of my ability. Please help me not to be lazy. Please help me to take the lead and show others what work should look like. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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