Day 30: Earn Your Own Living – What Does This Mean to You? - 31 Days: Marriage Devotionals


Scripture Focus: Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living…in this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers . . .  I Thessalonians 4:11-12


Melissa is highly social; she has hundreds of friends on Facebook. She’s just one of those people who tend to draw others into their circle. Melissa is warm, inclusive, outgoing, and fun to be around!


She is also a lifelong, multi-level marketer and she’s done well at it. Her friends aren’t sure, but they believe she’s currently in her fourth major multi-level marketing scheme. Like the previous three, this one seems to be paying well, at least in the first few years.


Melissa stays busy. If the assignment is earn your own living she is certainly doing that. Although her husband works and Melissa has two young children, she earns her own living by her constant involvement in multi-level marketing companies.


Carrie, one of Melissa’s friends, faces a much different reality. “I’ve got two little ones under age 4 and that’s all I can work on!” Carrie laments. “I don’t have time for another job, outside the home or inside it. These two keep me running all day long and I still have a house to clean, meals to prepare, and more. I don’t know how Melissa does it!”


When Paul advises believers to “earn their own living,” he doesn’t necessarily mean that busy moms should find paying employment. What he does mean is this: Believers in Christ should prove themselves to be responsible, committed, hard-working people; not lazy, not relying on handouts, and not expecting others to constantly meet their needs.


Melissa and Carrie both measure up to Paul’s instructions here. Melissa generates income from her activities; Carrie does not. Yet both are highly responsible, hard-working, industrious, and ethical. Both, in a very real sense, “earn their own living.”


For your personal reflection: 

  • Would those who know you best describe you as industrious and hard-working, regardless of whether or not you are currently employed?
  • Do you have a lifelong pattern of being committed, responsible, active, and helpful?

Prayer: Lord, sometimes I am jealous of moms who work outside their homes. For one thing, I’m jealous of the money they make and what they can do with that money. Whether I’m employed or not, please help me to be hard-working and industrious. Help me to do my best whether I am working in the home or outside of it.

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