Acts 20:33-35 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak.… (NIV)
These words give some practical application to the Christian life.
Don’t covet. Jealousy and envy of what others have will destroy your joy and peace. Learn to enjoy the success of others and walk in gratitude for what you have. Coveting is like drinking salt water. The thing you hoped would satisfy simply creates a further craving.
Work hard. Paul told us in another place that we ought do all things as if we were doing them for the Lord. He also says, “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” Eph 4:28 (NIV) Hard work has a benefit of creating community prosperity as well as physical well being. There is a personal satisfaction when we know we’ve done our very best at what is put in front of us.
Help the weak. It seems more common to judge the weak, or avoid the weak, but Paul says to help the weak. That is precisely what Christ does and when we learn to do so we enter into Christ’s likeness. No matter how weak we feel personally, there is always someone less fortunate for us to help. In so doing everyone is lifting a brother or sister, which will put us all on a higher plane.
These simple admonitions cut through theory, giving us practical things to live out for the Lord.
Rawlin Falk is a pastor with Maple Park Alliance Church.