Part 1 of 2: The ancient Greeks separated the “contemplative” life from the “active” life, and judged labor as something to be avoided. This cultural aristocratic understanding of work likely contributed to some in the Thessalonian church desiring to be a part of the leisure class and avoid work. However, Paul makes it clear that work is a part of the gospel way to live, no matter what we do. Our culture has a predominant attitude of personal achievement when it comes to work, to the detriment of our communities and even ourselves. Instead, Jesus says, “I have come not to be serve, but to serve.” It’s clear that work isn’t meant to merely enrich ourselves or achieve our dreams. Work done as an act of service grows healthy communities and is in itself a demonstration the gospel.