We did this . . . in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. (2 Thess. 3:9)
Every mother knows that if children have nothing to do, they will get into mischief. When my daughter was a teenager, she decided to play truant from school. She feigned illness and stayed in bed while her brothers went to school. I took one look at her healthy color and bright sparkling eyes. “I don’t think you need to stay in bed,” I said. “Get up and we can enjoy the day together.”
Her face brightened, and she jumped out of bed. Her cheery attitude didn’t last when I announced I intended to clean the carpets, and I was thrilled to have her help. The next day she was relieved to go back to school. She never tried to skip classes again.
In this passage, Paul told how he and his fellow workers worked day and night and paid their way. People watching them had respect for the way they behaved, and so would have been open to hear what they had to say.
Famous hymn writer Isaac Watts said, “Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” And he wasn’t just talking about children. By working, we set an example to others. Let us continue to use the abilities we have, whether to earn a salary or to help others, for as long as we are able. Then we will be role models to those who follow.
Set aside some time today to do a task for someone else.
Shirley M. Corder is an RN and pastor’s wife. She lives with her husband near the sea in South Africa, and enjoys walking on the beach.
—Shirley M. Corder