THE WORKMAN IS WORTH HIS HIRE
18 For the Scripture saith, “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his reward.” 1 Tim. 5:18
This is a rather difficult article to write, and yet I believe, that it is an important one for many of us to consider.
I often hear some say that those in ministry shouldn’t receive any help financially, and that they should just “trust the Lord.” And yet, many donate to various religious organizations, and support various churches. If one works at a job they are expected to be paid for what they do. Many have families to support and yet, as I go about my business where we live, I see many on street corners with bill boards asking for some amount of assistance. And while it may be true that some deceive others by doing this, there is an overall general need among many of them. Many quote the scripture,
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. Matt. 10:8
If one goes to a book store, they would expect to pay something for a book that they wanted. If one would purchase genuine leather-bound bibles we don’t typically get them for free. Many buy various plaques or prints from a Christian artist, and one should pay for these. Those that make and create such things, should be compensated for their efforts.
One works many hours to produce a work of art, and yet some think that it should just be given away freely to whoever might want it. Those that work with their hands to produce something of excellence should be compensated for their work. Even the Apostle Paul was paid for being a tent-maker. The same is true of publishing a book. One would expect to be paid something for their efforts in putting something together that would benefit the body of Christ. And not that that is the motive behind creating something like this, but rather, that simply one is paid reasonably for their efforts.
Then there are those that peddle the word of God and ask for compensation for a prayer cloth that might be used for healing or something miraculous. Those who do things like this are wrong! Some even charge for certain church services before they are allowed to come in. It goes without saying, that this is wrong. I’m certain that some of us are familiar with these types of practices. They will be judged.
Money is a difficult subject, and yet it is mentioned several times in the Bible. We see some in the body of Christ who have abused the use of the money they have or have been given, as they buy expensive jets to fly around the country in. We see lavish homes furnished with exquisite things in them. And yet, many as we know, suffer for just basic needs to be met. And we all know the scriptures that speak of how God won’t let the righteous go hungry:
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. Proverbs 10:3
And yet, many do go hungry, and many lack, and just quoting scriptures to them, is like the Pharisee. There sometimes seems to be the notion floating around in Christian circles that believers should be in a state of always being dependent upon the Lord for their finances and every aspect of their lives. And while this is true, God gives us others in the body of Christ who are called to help others in need, and to serve. Of course, many of us have regular employment of some sort, and yet many, do not. We live in desperate times, when if possible, the very elect can be deceived by every wind of doctrine. And many have fallen into strange and unusual teachings and doctrines.
It can become a very shallow thing to just quote scriptures to someone who is truly in need. It’s almost like pouring salt into a wound For this person most likely knows the scripture. Even the devil himself knows scripture; but he twists it to his own devices.
…and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? James 2:16