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Archive for tag Commands

Command and encourage

Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
-- 2 Thess 3:12

Paul evidences pastoral concern: it is important that Christians work hard and do not abuse the generosity of others. So it is commanded - it is not an option for the extra-spiritual or the extra-practical. It's the baseline standard of care for yourself and your family. At the same time honest work is to be encouraged - with tenderness and concern for the person in question.

How could this possibly work in practice? How can something be demanded without being forced? Love must drive the demand. Hopeful, faithful love will neither admit failure as an option, nor will it trample the loved one.