Work Ethics Pt II

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In 2 Thess 3: 7 – 9, Paul contrasts idle behavior to his modeled work ethics. Paul continuously worked night and day in Thessalonica to not be a burden to the church as well as to be a model. The participle form of ἐργάζομαι indicates Paul's continuous action with the emphasis placed on the action. The action of work means, "to work, labor, do work: it is opposite to inactivity or idleness." Therefore, to combat the Thessalonians' irresponsible attitude of work, Paul demonstrates the benefits of his working behavior. Since he worked not to be a burden, he charges the Thessalonians with the same. In verses 7 and 9, Paul uses the term, μιμέομαι to indicate that the Thessalonians should "imitate, follow as an example, strive to resemble" his behavior. The outcome of their imitation of him demonstrates that they will not be a burden to others. In verse 10, Paul identifies that if one does not work, then one should not eat. Simply, the Thessalonians will not burden each other with meals, because they possess the ability to work for their own satisfaction. After Paul explicates the right behavior in regards to work, he encourages the Thessalonians not to grow weary in doing good. His encouragement continues to emphasize his desire for them to not be a burden and to imitate his example.

 

Paul completes his letter to the Thessalonians by addressing their irresponsible attitude to the obligation of work. He demonstrates the proper order for working, to not be a burden and accommodate one's own needs. Paul's admonishment for disorderly conduct remains relevant for today's Christians. Due to the technological advancement, some individuals have utilized technology to minimize working. In some instances, technology has made working easier to the point that individuals no longer want to work hard. The outcome of such understanding has plagued many people with an irresponsible attitude to work. These individuals rely on technology or other people instead of working. The other issue that technology creates is the constant interaction with devices to the point of over-consumption. Over-consumption contributes to people no longer working because technology has consumed their attention. With these negative consequences, Paul's admonishment remains applicable to current societal norms. Modern Christians are called to possess a responsible attitude to work that fosters orderly conduct.