If He Will Not Work He Shall Not Eat

Q. In the New Testament, I have read ”you don’t work, you don’t eat”. I have MS. I don’t work and can’t help around the house. Do I ignore this reading?

A. You’re misquoting 2 Thes. 3:10, which says if a man will not work he shall not eat. The intent is to discourage laziness among the able bodied, as verses 11-12 which follow demonstrate.

We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.

These verses do not pertain to those with infirmities. If you’re unable to work, the passage doesn’t apply to you.

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