2 Corinthians 12:14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
As with any verse in Scripture, this one teaches many things. There is the direct application of what Paul was telling the Corinthians concerning his ministry to them, but what is striking me right now is one of the secondary truths Paul states here: that of laying up for the children.
While many Christians are busy claiming Matthew 6 and “taking no thought” of life, food, drink, and clothing, what are they doing to “lay up” for their children? And what of providing for their own house?
1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
As believers in this Church Age, we are to consider Paul first (2Ti 2:7), so let us focus on what Paul tells us to do for a moment.
There is an effort right now that is indicative of the general spirit of the times in the United States. We are poised to elect the most Marxist candidate ever to the presidency, in so doing transferring more responsibility off of the individual to the State. The nation is on the verge of demanding the nationalization of the health care services industry. These are certainly not “providing for his own.” We demand from our government new handouts in the forms of economic stimulus checks and home finance bailouts, and our politicians happily oblige us by borrowing more money from our children and grandchildren — the children laying up for the parents.
While we (and I speak to those of us who are Bible believers) may not have a strong influence on our government, we can certainly do more in our own lives to take ownership of our God-given responsibilities. Paul’s writings in Scripture are not suggestions, so let us take consideration of what we are doing and be sure to line up ourselves with Scripture:
- Do you look to the government or other people for your basic provision, or do you do everything in your power to “provide for your own?”
- Do you put your hopes in a ponsi scheme for retirement (Social Security) that requires your children and your children’s children to “lay up” for you, or do you make provision for your own welfare in the future?
- Do you hope for the government to care for your health, or do you care for your own health?
- If you have children, have you planned for their care in the event of your death? (Lay up for the children!)
- Do you “lay up” for your children by ensuring they are learning strong character, independence, and honesty, or do you leave their training up to other people who are not even allowed to teach such matters?
We do not live in a world where doing everything above is easy or necessarily possible all of the time. However, the Bible does not leave us room for apathy on these things. In fact, Paul’s comments here would be regarded as heartless by today’s humanistic standards:
2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
When you go before Christ to give an accounting for your life as a child of God, are you going to have to answer for not abiding by the precepts?
Don’t misunderstand me — we have a responsibility to care for those among us who can not care for themselves. That’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about our Biblical duty to care for our selves and not force our children to lay up for us.
Living by the Truth is hard. These precepts are hard and go against the grain of so much modern teaching on the subject that even bringing these truths up can get you shunned by other Christians. But they are there nonetheless.
Are you doing everything you can to live by them?