Evidently some of the people in the church at Thessalonica began to think that Jesus was returning soon and so they slacked off on working. Why work if the Lord is coming back for us in a little while? But Paul encourages them to keep working up until the end, whenever that is, just as Paul himself continued to do (1 Thess 4:11-12). Taking care to provide for oneself and one's family is not a matter of pride; it is a matter of not putting undue burden on others to take care of us. It is hard to share the gospel when others are giving us a handout.
For Reflection: Christians are not to be slackers. Paul continued to work as a tent maker wherever he traveled. We don't all have such portable businesses, but do we lend a hand whenever possible? Are we doing our utmost to provide for ourselves and our families? Are we giving our employers a full day of work for a full day of pay?
For retirees: Are we volunteering our services to anyone?
Let us pray. Jesus, I thank you for the work that I have, that you have given me to do. I thank you for a body that is capable of working, a mind that is fit and active, a disposition that is cheerful. I thank you for my family and that I am able to provide for them.
For those looking for work: Jesus, I look forward to working again at my full capacity. I thank you that you are placing me where I will be happiest and the most productive.