Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “When there is a person whose work was done with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a person who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great wrong.” Ecclesiastes 2:21 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You are responsible to work for what you want”
It’s widely and wrongly believed by many people today that the Bible advocates socialism. Socialism is a political and economic system whereby the government intervenes and redistributes wealth. The idea is supposedly “equality among classes” and is achieved by taking from those who have worked hard, been successful, and earned a lot, and giving it to those who have not worked hard, been successful, or earned a lot.
Those who promote socialism often claim Biblical support for it (especially the passages where Jesus instructs us to give to those in need). Another passage often cited is Acts 2:42-46 where we find the early church in Jerusalem sharing with each other and everyone being well cared for. However socialists aren’t as fond of passages like Ecclesiastes 2:21, which clearly speaks about the wrongness of this socialist mindset; or 2 Thessalonians 3:10, where the Apostle Paul says that if a man will not work then he shall not eat; or Proverbs 6:6-8, where Solomon mocks the lazy person who doesn’t work hard.
The truth is that the Bible instructs us to work, to work hard, and to pay our own way in this world. It started with Adam in the Garden of Eden when God assigned him the job of caring for the Garden, and it carries through the entire Bible. God’s people are to be hard workers and we will then reap what we sow.
It’s true that there are plenty of passages which teach us to generously and compassionately care for the poor, but those passages speak specifically about those who have a legitimate need and who can’t care for themselves. It’s not God’s desire for us to enable the bad behavior of lazy people. Also, passages like Acts 2:42, which show God’s people sharing generously with each other, are examples of voluntary generosity. Those were not cases of religious or government officials forcibly taking money and provisions from one person who earned them, and giving them to another person who did not earn them.
Many people in our land today are attracted to what I call “soft-core socialism”. Soft-core socialism is like soft-core porn – it’s suggestive enough to be titillating and therefore attractive, but not revealing enough to show how evil it really is. However, just as soft-core porn is a gateway to hard-core porn, so too soft-core socialism is simply the leading edge of something that is clearly and emphatically unbiblical.
In God’s economy each person has a responsibility to provide for themselves, and you then reap what you sow.