Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.  Then the people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.”  (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

“We are confident that we are meant for better things, things that come with salvation.  For God is not unjust.  He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.  Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.  Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent.  Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”  (Hebrews 6:9b-12)

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4)

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold.  I wish you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!  You say, ‘I am rich.  I have everything I want.  I don’t need a thing!’  And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.  So I advise you to buy gold from me–gold that has been purified by fire.  Then you will be rich.  Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.  I correct and discipline everyone I love.  So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”  (Revelation 3:15-19)

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.  For you know that you ought to imitate us.  We were not idle when we were with you.  We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it.  We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you.  We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.  Even while we were with you, we gave you this command, ‘Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.’  Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business.  We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living.  As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13)

There are certain behaviors that even unbelievers inherently understand and judge others by.  Two clashing behaviors that become the mark of the one who practices them are diligence and idleness.

A diligent person is appreciated and respected worldwide by everyone in every culture.  They are trustworthy and counted on.  Their presence brings confidence and assurance to others.

An idle person is troublesome to everyone.  To the family, an idle person is a burden that others must take care of.  To an employer, an idle person is an un-trustworthy cost.  To a community/country, idle people are life sucking leeches on the backs of society.  The Scriptures say that an idle person is just as bad as someone who destroys things. (Proverbs 18:9)

Idle behavior stems from the idea that nothing is worthy of time or effort.

What is God’s stance on life and how to live it?  “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:3-4)  This is the attitude of Christ our Lord and it is worthy of our interest, time and effort.  Our work ethic and interaction with others should always reflect the quiet diligence of Christ.

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