“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”
— Ephesians 4:28
The BAGGAGE Series has been focused on letting go of detrimental attitudes, thoughts, and actions, that characterized our old self; and putting on the new attitude, thoughts, and actions that now resemble who we are in Christ. Something that has become incredibly confusing for the world we are trying to reach with the Gospel, is professing Christians that celebrate being new in Christ, but still hold on to the old stuff of sinful pasts. Paul recognizes this among the Ephesian believers… people who proclaimed to be new and different, but still embraced the old, in this case, stealing or the acquiring of things dishonestly. This goes beyond informing the cashier of a mischarged item or being honest on your tax return… although Christians should set the standard in these areas. No, this is about having a strong work ethic. Paul is essentially saying, “Christians should set the standard when it comes to working hard; using our hands for work, not for hand outs or shortcuts to wealth.” The reasons why this is such an important truth is because three things supernaturally occur when we are given to hard work: God is glorified by our efforts, we are blessed by our resources, and the needs of the unfortunate around us are met by our sharing.
Have you been saddled with the baggage of dishonest gain? A poor work ethic? The inability to bless those in need around you? Have you spent your time and efforts looking for financial shortcuts? Allow the Spirit of God to place within you a desire for working hard so that God will be glorified, you will be abundantly resourced, and the needs of the unfortunate around you will be met. Take a moment and thank God for the ability to work… also take a few minutes and pray for someone you know who needs employment.