Work with Your Own Hands
“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
The Thessalonians were neglecting their daily work, and consequently, they were depending on the wealth and hard work of others. Here, we see Paul encouraging them to work with their own hands so that outsiders may see their selflessness and hard work and so that God may be glorified through His people.
It’s so easy to give in to the sins of selfishness and slothfulness in a world that does not value sacrificial service to others. Do you struggle with this, sister? Do not be mistaken; we should never be afraid to ask for help, and we are called to depend on the Body of Christ. We cannot live apart from the family of God. But due to our sinful nature, we can so easily take advantage of the hard work and bounty of others, abusing kindness and generosity, even expecting and feeling entitled to it, so we stop doing the duties God calls us to in service to others.
In Matthew 20, we learn even the King Himself came not to be served but to serve others, even to the point of death. In Jesus’ Kingdom, leaders serve as slaves. Sisters, we can learn from Jesus in this way. God calls us each to work with our own hands, putting others’ needs before our own, and to do all things to the glory of God.
So, whatever you are called to – from menial tasks to big duties – do it well, with your whole heart, putting the needs of others first. By your own flesh, you cannot do it. But by God’s sufficient grace, you can be the hands and feet of Christ.
Father, forgive me for my selfishness. I often expect the service and abuse the generosity of others. Forgive me for the times I neglect my duties and give in to slothfulness. Lord, by Your power I can change. Open my eyes to the needs of those around me, make my heart humbled by the love and generosity of others, and work through me to serve others first that I may glorify Your name.
Memorize Philippians 2:3.
Chelsey Meissner is obsessed with seeing and savoring Jesus. She is a lover of books, coffee, cats, running, and all things vintage. Chelsey is excited to travel the the world with her husband, Eric, who is a Marine Officer.