Got to pay your dues
If you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don't come easy
In today's second reading, Paul delivers one of the more noteworthy and blunt lines in scripture: "Anyone unwilling to work should not eat."
We were not put here to live off the backs of others. We were put here to be productive. What exactly 'productive' means, Paul tells us, is a private matter between each of us and the Creator. However, it is clear that we are expected to make the most of what we have regardless of our level of talent.
While the literal context of Paul's words is the economic sphere, the notion of working for reward is applicable to mental and spiritual development as well. We must work our minds in order to get closer to truth. Others cannot do this for us.
Spiritually, we must work toward nurturing a loving relationship with God and with others. Such relationships don't come easy.
While, as Paul observes, people can set good examples for others to imitate, and assist those who are struggling, a particular approach, however benevolent, cannot be forced on others.
Each of us must decide on our own. To be willing to work. To be willing to struggle.