Christianity touches every area
of life; none is left out – not even the work relationship of employer and
God has entrusted employers
with the administration of certain duties in the development of the nation.
And God has entrusted certain men and women to physically work for the
welfare of the nation. But there is a need for both intellectual and
physical labor – exerting one’s powers of mind or body. The man in the
office who does nothing but think and give orders is just as much a laborer
as the man who works in a factory.
The employer and employee
relationship is one of mutual benefit: the employer is dependent upon the
employee, and the employee is dependent upon the employer. A good employer
provides well for its employees, and the good employee does his part well in
If we want our community and
nation to prosper, then we must practice Biblical business virtues – moral
business duties from a sincere love of God and His Word.
Reasonable Standard of Living
Every honest, hard-working
American hopes to prosper and have a reasonable standard of living. To
prosper means to thrive, or improve steadily in wealth. The average American
works in order to be well-off, or in fortunate circumstances.
We may reasonably expect a
family who has a higher position in the community to maintain a higher
standard of living than others, but there are some things that every family
ought to have. Every family in our community ought to have a reasonable
standard of living: food in sufficient amount and variety to maintain good
health; decent clothing; housing for a real home life; savings for doctor’s
bills, insurance or protection against the inevitable “rainy day”; and a
little amount for recreation, travel, and the like – surely it is not too
much to wish that every family in America should be provided with all these.
Most communities provide
numerous job opportunities so that we may provide for our families’ needs
and a few comforts. Therefore, the employer and employee relationship plays
a major role in the poverty or prosperity of the community.
First, the employer must
provide the employee with fair wages and good benefits.
Second, the employee must
budget his income. The employee must not spend more than he earns. Eating
out several times a week, buying expensive cups of coffee daily, buying new
vehicles frequently and never paying one off, costly technology and monthly
fees, and other extravagant spending quickly devours one’s paycheck and
leaves no money left over for household expenses such as utilities, repairs,
new furniture and new appliances, and so forth. And foolish spending wastes
money that should be saved for retirement, medical emergencies, education, travel to
explore God’s world, and other needed or beneficial expenses.
The truth is bad home
management of income explains why many families are poor or bankrupt. The
government can do very little in comparison with individual common sense and
judgment in settling the problem of the cost of living for a family.
Families that use judgment about the things they buy, that try to avoid
waste, and that refuse to buy when prices are high, can largely control
their own expense accounts.
In order for families to have a
reasonable standard of living, employers must pay fair wages and employees
must budget their income.
The Virtuous Employer: Moral Duties of Employers
God has given some men the
natural ability for business. Therefore, they should go into some honorable
and legitimate business. Some are given the ability to establish business
ventures. Others are given the ability to manage businesses for their
owners: managers, supervisors, superintendents, officers, executives, and
Just as an employee has either
a moral or immoral character, an employer has either a moral or immoral
character. It is just as important for an employer - boss, business owner,
business, firm, company – to be virtuous as it is for an employee to be
virtuous, or morally good.
The virtuous employer is
God-fearing and a blessing to the community and the nation by espousing
Biblical business principles, and stands firm and steady to them. No true
Christian will establish a business that is immoral and harms the best
interests of the patron and the community. For example, no true Christian
will manufacture or sell liquor, cigarettes, lottery tickets (gambling), and
other harmful vices that affect the health, property, or general well-being
of the individual citizen. The injury suffered by indulgence in these vices
does not stop with the person who commits them. His own ill-health, the loss
of his earnings, the reputation he acquires, are reflected on his family and
they suffer personally and socially. Furthermore, these vices hurt the
community welfare. Many people waste their money on liquor, cigarettes,
lottery tickets, and other harmful vices and do not properly provide for
their children. Then they expect churches and community charitable
organizations to provide their children with food, clothing, and other basic
necessities. Irrefutably, the true Christian employer knows he has a duty to
God and a moral duty to the community, and does not want unclean hands in
the evil effects of vices on the individual, his family, and society.
Therefore, he will have no trade that deals in vice, but will promote the
general welfare of the community by practicing good morals in business.
So, what does the Bible teach
about the employer’s moral duties? God’s Word explains how masters are to
treat their servants. It has been estimated that about half of the total
population of the Roman Empire, or about sixty million people, were slaves.
For the most part these slaves were those conquered in war. Some slave
owners treated their slaves well, others were very brutal; many of the
slaves themselves were without hope and many of them were corrupt. Some of
the Christians in the early church were masters. Some may ask why Paul did
not denounce slavery and instruct Christian masters to free their slaves.
Paul encouraged the emancipation of individual slaves and the redemption of
captives. But slavery was a fundamental element of the old Roman
constitution, and instead of inciting a rebellion to free the slaves,
Christianity mitigated the evils of slavery by impressing on master and
slave their relative duties according to Christianity. Later, slavery was
abolished because of the influence of Christianity.
Paul writes to the Christians
in Colossae and instructs masters to treat servants with justice and
Masters, give unto your
servants that which is just and equal;
knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
We can read this as “Employers,
give unto your employees that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also
have a Master in heaven.”
The Christian employer has his
duties along with his rights as a master. The employer must deal with
employees on a moral and righteous footing. The virtuous employer knows that
he has a Master in heaven and runs his business with this ever-present in
Unfortunately, many employers
are not just and equal. They are corrupt and practice unjust business
practices such as affirmative action – discrimination. Minorities are hired
just because they are a minority, not because they are the best qualified
for the job. For example, in the 1980s, when I was single and desperately
needed a job to support myself, I applied for a teaching job in Florida. The
principal wanted to hire me but was told he had to hire a black woman. I was
highly qualified but was discriminated against because I am white. This is a
great injustice and social evil – a sin! Only wicked and corrupt employers
practice inequity and favoritism.
On the other hand, the virtuous
employer hires the best qualified for the job. He considers it a great
responsibility and honor to help others improve their lives by providing
them with honest work and justly rewarding them for their labor. He desires
to keep them contented, and provides extra services beyond the payment of
wages for the health, comfort, and pleasure of the employees. He is
concerned about the employees’ present and future welfare.
The virtuous employer
understands he buys the services of man – he does not buy the man.
Therefore, he does not treat him as his property to abuse or
destroy. Neither does he talk down to an employee in a cross, tyrannical,
demeaning, or arrogant manner. And he does not make the employee’s life
bitter by underpay. And he does not burden the employee with unreasonable
workloads that overtires his physical or intellectual strength, ruins his
health, and shortens his life.
The virtuous employer
understands he is dealing with human beings who are working out of necessity
to provide for their needs. Ideally, the employer brings out
the best in the employee; the employee brings out the best in the employer.
The business owner is, of
course, entitled to a profit as a recompense for the use of his capital. But
profit gained at the sacrifice of others’ interests is not just. He will not
take advantage of his employee’s necessity of earning a living by paying him
as little as possible or denying him full time work and benefits. The cruel
greed that grasps at large profits at the cost of poverty to others is fatal
to the employee, the community, and the nation. The unjust employer will
have to appear at the tribunal where “there is no respect of persons.”
Injustice and over-reaching on the part of the unjust employer is sure of
God’s heavy judgment.
Sadly, there are employers who
pocket big profits to the neglect of the real welfare of their employees and
the community – and try to cover up this sin with charity. In other words,
they use the cloak of charity to hide their greed. For example, Publix Super
Markets denies many employees full time hours so they won’t have to give
them benefits. Many of their employees are on welfare. Yet, Publix boasts of
its generous philanthropy in the community!
Charities donated $5 million to Habitat
for Humanity affiliates, homeless
shelters, and other nonprofits providing
housing to those in need. The donation
is funding 40 new home builds across the
Southeast, and Publix is stocking the
pantry of each home.
individual or family should have to
worry about the basic needs of food or
shelter,” said Carol Jenkins Barnett,
President of Publix Super Markets
Charities. “I am honored our Foundation
is continuing my father’s legacy of
supporting the communities Publix
serves. And I am so proud of our Publix
associates for giving their time and
talents to building houses and providing
hope to those in need.”
Publix employees are on public welfare, but it boasts of its charity!
While their own employees are
struggling and on welfare, Carol Jenkins Barnett hypocritically says, “No
individual or family should have to worry about the basic needs of food or
shelter.” And Publix associates are asked to give their time and talent to
build houses for “those in need” when many of their fellow workers are in
O ye hypocrite!
Even so ye
also outwardly appear righteous unto men,
but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
On Judgment Day, the cloak of
Publix Charities will be ripped off and expose the heart of greed that
grasped after large profits at the expense of employee welfare.
Businesses - especially big
businesses like Publix - play a major role in the welfare of the community. If they pay fair wages and
provide good benefits, the employees are able to prosper and live with
dignity. However, if they are underpaid
with no benefits, the employees are robbed of their dignity, and unable to
provide for their basic needs.
Of course, employees must give an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. They are not
entitled to good pay for poor work. But they are entitled to good pay for
The labourer is worthy of
1 Timothy 5:18
Besides the economic welfare of
the employee, the virtuous employer is concerned with his spiritual welfare.
He recognizes the great importance of true Bible-believing churches in the
higher life of the community, and understands that entirely apart from their
distinctly gospel teaching, they contribute toward making any community
clean, wholesome, orderly, and happy. Therefore, his business is closed on
the Lord’s Day so employees may attend church to worship God. Chick-fil-A
and Hobby Lobby are to be commended for closing on Sunday so employees may
honor the Lord’s Day.
Remember the sabbath day, to
keep it holy.
And no employee – except for
hospitals and emergency services – should have to work on holy days:
Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter.
In sum, the virtuous employer
raises the employee’s spirit through guidance and appreciation of work well
done. The employer serves and values the employee by fair pay, fair working
conditions, and respect. The virtuous employer is thoroughly honest – honest
with himself, honest with others, and honest before God.
If we want our community and
nation to prosper, then employers must practice Biblical business virtues –
moral business duties from a sincere love of God and His Word.
The Virtuous Employee: Moral Duties of Employees
The community has a right to
expect every citizen to be industrious and productive, for only in this way
can he be self-sustaining and at the same time contribute his share to the
well-being of the community. There are people who habitually seek to do as
little as possible for what they can get, or to get all they can for the
least possible service. This applies not only to idlers who live entirely
off the community without any service on their part, but also to those who
have employment, but who seek to evade, by slacking and loafing, the full
responsibility of service. An employee who is lazy and wasteful cheats his
employer. He is robbing his employer of unearned wages.
Many of the “servants” of the
New Testament were slaves entrusted with the property of their masters. It
was in their power to defraud them by embezzlement, or to waste their
property, or to allow it to be wasted without check or rebuke. The slaves
were often greatly more numerous than freemen, and many embraced the gospel.
Therefore, Paul addressed the duties of servants to their masters.
Servants, obey in all things
your masters according to the flesh;
not with eye-service, as men-pleasers;
but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
And whatsoever ye do, do it
as unto the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord ye
the reward of the inheritance:
for ye serve the Lord Christ.
But he that doeth wrong
shall receive for the wrong
which he hath done:
and there is no respect of persons.
For servants, their duty is
summed up in the single word “obedience.” They were to obey in all things
included within the sphere of a master’s rightful authority, not contrary to
the gospel of Christ. The same instructions apply to employees: Christianity
demands an honest obedience, that serves as well behind the master’s back as
to his face. In other words, working even when the employer’s eye is not
watching because the eye of the Divine Master is ever upon him. The virtuous
employee is honest and God-fearing. Matthew Henry explains “We are really
doing our duty to God when we are faithful in our duty to men.” Employees in
serving their employers, serve the Lord, therefore, they work heartily “as
unto the Lord, and not unto men.”
Paul writes to Titus that
servants must obey their masters and treat them with respect and reverence.
Exhort servants to be
obedient unto their own masters,
and to please them well in all things;
not answering again;
Not purloining, but shewing
all good fidelity;
that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Not only must the employee be
obedient and respectful, he must not steal or waste, but must improve his
employer’s goods, and promote his prosperity and thriving, to his best
efforts. He does not do slipshod and merely passable work. As a mere matter
of commercial advantage, image the success and prosperity of the community
if every employee was faithful in the “few things” entrusted to his care
The virtuous employee serves
and values the employer by honoring fair demands, doing his best work, and
mutual respect. He is trustworthy, loyal, industrious, cooperative and
courteous. And the virtuous employee does not waste company time in
malicious gossip, slander, and backbiting the employer or other
employees. The virtuous employee does not steal time or goods from the
employer. The virtuous employee is thoroughly honest – honest with himself,
honest with others, and honest before God.
If we want our community and
nation to prosper, then employees must practice Biblical business virtues –
moral business duties from a sincere love of God and His Word.
To begin with, there is plenty
of work to be done in our nation from homes to schools to businesses,
indoors and outdoors – housework, schoolwork, churchwork, yardwork,
paperwork...you get the idea. And everyone is to be industrious in their
life’s work: business executives, housewives, pastors, school teachers,
manual laborers, government officials – all callings and employment.
Industry in our particular calling is a duty required of us by our general
calling as Christians. Even children are to be diligent in their schoolwork,
and should help with housework. Training children in the Biblical work
commandment should begin at an early age. All are called to work – no one is
After man was created, he was
called to work.
And the Lord God took the
and put him into the garden of Eden to
dress it and keep it.
God assigned Adam to maintain
the garden of Eden. Matthew Henry explains that “The garden of Eden, though
it needed not to be weeded (for thorns and thistles were not yet a
nuisance), yet must be dressed and kept. Nature, even in its primitive
state, left room for the improvements of art and industry.” In the Garden of
Eden, Adam was not idle. God commanded him to work.
We often see work as a burden,
but it has many benefits. The labor we perform compels us to put forth
intelligence, skill, energy, vigilance, zeal, brings out our practical
qualities, and gradually trains our moral and intellectual powers. And God
has given each of us gifts and
these gifts grow with use –
diligent service enlarges our gifts. Each of us should daily keep in mind
that neglected gifts are withdrawn. If we will not use our faculties, we
shall lose them. God will call all His servants to account for the use they
make of their gifts.
Certainly, it is important to
do work that is honest, meaningful, useful, and contributes to the
prosperity and welfare of the community and our nation. After all, the chief
return that we get from our work is not the wages or the profits, important
as they are to us, but the satisfaction of doing something that is
worthwhile. If this pleasure is absent from the work we do, no amount of
money we earn can compensate for it.
And for workers who do not get
paid – housewives – they contribute a great deal to the welfare of the
family which has a positive influence on the community and the nation.
The well-being of
society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend
upon home influences.
Home is the first, greatest, and best of the institutions of society.
Being a keeper of the home is
noble work. There is nothing in Scripture that says work outside the home is
more important than work in the home.
So, whether we are unpaid or
paid, there is work for everyone, and everyone must work. The Bible does not
that we work. The Bible
commands us to
work and provide for ourselves and our families. But many Americans today
willfully disobey the Biblical work command and spend their days in
idleness. And government and church welfare provide them with food,
clothing, and other handouts in willful defiance of the Biblical work
For even when we were with
this we commanded you,
that if any would not work,
neither should he eat.
For we hear that there are
some which walk among you disorderly,
working not at all, but are busybodies.
Now them that are such
we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus
that with quietness they work, and eat
their own bread.
2 Thess. 3:10-12
Matthew Henry explains:
(1.) There were some
among them who were idle,
not working at all,
or doing nothing. It does not appear that they were gluttons or drunkards,
but idle, and therefore disorderly people. It is not enough for any to say
they do no hurt; for it is required of all persons that they do good in the
places and relations in which Providence has placed them. It is probable
that these persons had a notion (by misunderstanding some passages in the
former epistle) concerning the near approach of the coming of Christ, which
served them for a pretence to leave off the work of their callings, and live
in idleness. Note, It is a great error, or abuse of religion, to make it a
cloak for idleness or any other sin. If we were sure that the day of
judgment were ever so near, we must, notwithstanding, do the work of the day
in its day, that when our Lord comes he may find us doing. The servant who
waits for the coming of his Lord aright must be working as his Lord has
commanded, that all may be ready when he comes.
He commands and directs
those that live idle lives to reform, and set themselves to their business.
He had given commandments to this purport, as well as a good example of
this, when he was among them:
Even when we were with
you, this we commanded you, that if any man would not work neither should he
2 Thess. 3:10.
It was a proverbial speech among the Jews,
He who does not labour
does not deserve to eat.
The labourer is worthy of his meat; but what is the loiterer worthy of? It
is the will of God that every man should have a calling, and mind his
calling, and make a business of it, and that none should live like useless
drones in the world. Such persons do what in them lies to defeat the
the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread.
It was not the mere humour of the apostle, who was an active stirring man
himself and therefore would have every body else to be so too, but it was
the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
with quietness we
work, and eat our own bread,
2 Thess. 3:12.
Men ought some way or other to earn their own living, otherwise they do not
eat their own bread. Observe, There must be work or labour, in opposition to
idleness; and there must be quietness, in opposition to being busy-bodies in
other men’s matters. We must study to be quiet, and do our own business.
This is an excellent but rare composition, to be of an active yet quiet
spirit, active in our own business and yet quiet as to other people’s.
the church feeds and encourages the idle in outright defiance of Scripture.
And it encourages the idle to demand the fruit of the labor of right-minded,
decent, honest and faithful workers. While honest Americans are working,
dishonest Americans are wasting their days in idleness.
Years ago – before we embraced
the hippie theology of “don’t judge” – society had sound judgment and
disapproved of idle and dishonest people.
the 1935 encyclopedia
The Book of Knowledge
Americans have always taken pride in their vocations. All decent men and
women expect to make their own way in the world by hard and faithful work.
Our people have always looked down upon any so-called "leisure classes."
Honest, faithful work has always been respected and appreciated in this
today’s “leisure classes” now include those on government, community, and
welfare. Years ago,
writer after writer rightly denounced the lazy as thieves and beggars…
Men or women with no business, nothing to
do, are an absolute pest to society. They are thieves, stealing that which
is not theirs; beggars, eating what they have not earned; drones, wasting
the fruits of others’ industry; leeches, sucking the blood of others;
evil-doers, setting an example of idleness and dishonest living; hypocrites,
shining in stolen and false colors; vampires, eating out the life of the
T.L. Haines, and L.W.
Yaggy, The Royal Path
of Life; or Aims and Aids to Success and Happiness
(Eastern Publishing House, 1882),
There is no special value in being poor,
particularly if our poverty is the result of lack of enterprise and energy
on our part; on the contrary, poverty under such circumstances is both a
curse and a disgrace to any man.
Jerome Paine Bates,
The Imperial Highway (The Imperial Publishing Co., 1884),
To have family, and then
leave the community to support it, is thieving because no equivalent is
rendered. No shiftless, lazy man or family is honest. No shiftless, lazy man
or family can be independent. They are the subjects of those who support
them, whether these be separate individuals or the community. To be master
of one's self, to be a man, one must be independent in money matters. Only
he who is industrious and saving can look any man in the face and say, "I,
too, am a man. I am my own master...I am free." But the lazy man who is
dependent upon others is a slave to their wishes, their commands.
Stones of Success ... - Page 282 - Google Books Result
Scot, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904), argued that individuals could and should
improve themselves through hard work, thrift, self-discipline, education,
and moral improvement and not seek the help of government.
promoted thrift and claimed that poverty was caused largely by
In his book
(1875), Mr. Smiles warned that charity frequently does more harm than good…
England is celebrated for
its charities. M. Guizot declares that there is nothing in this land that so
fills the mind of the stranger with amazement at our resources, and
admiration at our use of them, as the noble free-gift monuments raised on
every side for the relief of multiform suffering. The home philanthropist,
who looks a little deeper than the foreign visitor, may be disposed to take
another view of the effects of money-giving. That charity produces unmixed
good, is very much questioned. Charity, like man, is sometimes blind, and
frequently misguided. Unless money is wisely distributed, it will frequently
do more harm than good. If charity could help or elevate the poor, London
would now be the happiest city in the world; for about three millions of
money are spent on charity, and about one in every three of the London
population are relieved by charitable institutions.
It is very easy to raise
money for charity. Subscription lists constantly attest the fact. A rich man
is asked by some influential person for money. It is very easy to give it.
It saves time to give it. It is considered a religious duty to give it. Yet
to give money unthinkingly, to give it without considering how it is to be
used,—instead of being for the good of our fellow-creatures,—may often prove
the greatest injury we could inflict upon them. True benevolence does not
consist in giving money. Nor can charitable donations, given
indiscriminately to the poor, have any other effect than to sap the
foundations of self-respect, and break down the very outworks of virtue
itself. There are many forms of benevolence which create the very evils they
are intended to cure, and encourage the poorer classes in the habit of
dependence upon the charity of others,—to the neglect of those far healthier
means of social well-being which lie within their own reach.
One would think that
three million a year were sufficient to relieve all the actual distress that
exists in London. Yet the distress, notwithstanding all the money spent upon
it, goes on increasing. May not the money spent in charity, create the
distress it relieves,—besides creating other distress which it fails to
relieve? Uneducated and idle people will not exert themselves for a living,
when they have the hope of obtaining the living without exertion. Who will
be frugal and provident, when charity offers all that frugality and
providence can confer? Does not the gift of the advantages, comforts, and
rewards of industry, without the necessity of labouring for them, tend to
sap the very foundations of energy and self-reliance? Is not the
circumstance that poverty is the only requisite qualification on the part of
the applicant for charity, calculated to tempt the people to
self-indulgence, to dissipation, and to those courses of life which keep
Men who will not struggle
and exert themselves, are those who are helped first.
The worst sort of persons are made
comfortable: whilst the hard-working, self-supporting man, who disdains to
throw himself upon charity, is compelled to pay rates for the maintenance of
the idle. Charity stretches forth its hand to the rottenest parts of
society; it rarely seeks out, or helps, the struggling and the honest.
As Carlyle has said, "O my astonishing benevolent friends! that never think
of meddling with the material while it continues sound; that stress and
strain it with new rates and assessments, till even it has given way and
declared itself rotten; whereupon you greedily snatch at it, and say, 'Now
let us try to do some good upon it!'"
The charity which merely
consists in giving, is an idle indulgence—often an idle vice. The mere
giving of money will never do the work of philanthropy. As a recent writer
has said, "The crimes of the virtuous, the blasphemies of the pious, and the
follies of the wise, would scarcely fill a larger volume than the cruelties
of the humane. In this world a large part of the occupation of the wise has
been to neutralize the efforts of the good."
"Public charities," said
the late Lord Lytton, "are too often merely a bonus to public indolence and
vice. What a dark lesson of the fallacy of human wisdom does this knowledge
strike into the heart! What a waste of the materials of kindly sympathies!
What a perversion individual mistakes can cause, even in the virtues of a
nation! Charity is a feeling dear to the pride of the human heart—it is an
aristocratic emotion! Mahomet testified his deep knowledge of his kind when
he allowed the vice hardest to control,—sexual licentiousness; and
encouraged the virtue easiest to practise,—charity."
There are clergymen in
London who say that charity acts against the extension of religion amongst
the people. The Rev. Mr. Stone says, "He is an unwelcome visitor to the poor
who brings the Bible in one hand, without a loaf, a blanket, or a shilling
in the other. And no wonder. By the prevailing system of charitable relief
they have been
nursed in this
carnal spirit; they have been justified in those selfish expectations.
Instead of being allowed to learn the great and salutary lesson of
providence, that there is a necessary connection between their conduct and
their condition, they have, by this artificial system, been taught that
indigence is of
sufficient to constitute a claim to relief. They have been thus encouraged
in improvidence, immorality, fraud, and hypocrisy."
philanthropists are those who endeavour to prevent misery, dependence, and
destitution; and especially those who diligently help the poor to help
themselves. This is the great advantage of the "Parochial Mission-Women
Association." They bring themselves into close communication with the people
in the several parishes of London, and endeavour to assist them in many
ways. But they avoid giving indiscriminate alms. Their objects are "to help
the poor to help themselves, and to raise them by making them feel that they
help themselves." There is abundant room for philanthropy amongst all
classes; and it is most gratifying to find ladies of high distinction taking
part in this noble work.
There are numerous other
societies established of late years, which afford gratifying instances of
the higher and more rational, as well as really more Christian, forms of
charity. The societies for improving the dwellings of the industrial
classes,—for building baths and washhouses,—for establishing workmen's,
seamen's, and servants' homes,—for cultivating habits of providence and
frugality amongst the working-classes,—and for extending the advantages of
knowledge amongst the people,—are important agencies of this kind. These,
instead of sapping the foundations of self-reliance, are really and truly
helping the people to help themselves, and are deserving of every
approbation and encouragement. They tend to elevate the condition of the
mass; they are embodiments of philanthropy in its highest form; and are
calculated to bear good fruit through all time.
Rich men, with the
prospect of death before them, are often very much concerned about their
money affairs. If unmarried and without successors, they find a considerable
difficulty in knowing what to do with the pile of gold they have gathered
together during their lifetime. They must make a will, and leave it to
somebody. In olden times, rich people left money to pay for masses for their
souls. Perhaps many do so still. Some founded almshouses; others hospitals.
Money was left for the purpose of distributing doles to poor persons, or to
persons of the same name and trade as the deceased.
"These doles," said the
wife of a clergyman in the neighbourhood of London, "are doing an infinite
deal of mischief: they are rapidly pauperising the parish." Not long since,
the town of Bedford was corrupted and demoralized by the doles and
benefactions which rich men had left to the poorer classes. Give a man money
without working for it, and he will soon claim it as a right. It practically
forbids him to exercise forethought, or to provide against the vicissitudes
of trade, or the accidents of life. It not only breaks down the bulwarks of
independence, but the outposts of virtue itself.
Large sums of money are
left by rich men to found "Charities." They wish to do good, but in many
cases they do much moral injury. Their "Charities" are anything but
charitable. They destroy the self-respect of the working-classes, and also
of the classes above them. "We can get this charity for nothing. We can get
medical assistance for nothing. We can get our children educated for
nothing. Why should we work? Why should we save?" Such is the idea which
charity, so-called, inculcates. The "Charitable Institution" becomes a
genteel poor-house; and the lesson is extensively taught that we can do
better by begging than by working.
Samuel Smiles, Thrift, (Harper &
Amen, Mr. Smiles!
Even textbooks denounced the
idler who lives upon the labor of others…
THE LAW OF DUTY
The Good American Does His Duty
The shirker or the willing idler lives
upon the labor of others,
burdens others with the work which he ought to do himself. He harms
his fellow citizens, and so harms his country.
I will try to find out what my duty is,
and I will do it, whether it is easy
or whether it is hard. What I ought to do, I can do.
Good Manners for Young
In America, there are millions
who shirk their responsibility to be good citizens and refuse to labor and
contribute to the welfare of the community. These idle and dishonest people
are unwilling to earn their own living and expect the workers in the
community to support them. They receive a living without earning it. They
are usually strong physically and perfectly able to look out for themselves,
but deliberately prey upon the community in one manner or another without
giving anything in return. They are thieves and swindlers living on
“disability” and other public welfare, church welfare, corporate welfare
(“charity”) and other handouts. These willful and habitual idlers are
burdens on the community and the nation. To desire what your neighbor has
worked for, and you are unwilling to work for, is covetousness – a sin
And it is a sin for government
and church welfare and other charities to deliberately disobey the Biblical
command “this we
commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” In
defiance of the express language of the Bible, do-gooders shake their fist
at God’s command to work, and in order to make themselves feel good, they
reward the lazy.
Everyone has a
duty to God, their family, the community, and the nation to work.
No one is called to idleness.
There is no such person as the
We shall all stand before the
Judgment Seat of Christ to account for our faithfulness in obeying the
Biblical work command.
The idler who refuses to work
will stand before Christ. He will hear the awful words...
And cast ye
the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And the employer and the
employee will stand before Christ. Both will be simply and solely judged
according to their deeds. Therefore, let us be virtuous employers and
virtuous employees – good and faithful servants – so that we may hear our
thou good and faithful servant:
thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord.