September 15; Does Individual Sloth Justify Free Food?
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Nine: Finance; September 15

For even when we were with you,

we gave you this rule:

“The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Does Individual Sloth Justify Free Food?


salvation_army_logoYour Business Professor was working in a soup truck cooking and handing out paper cups of chili to homeless men. We drove the Salvation Army van around Washington, DC at regular stops for the men (I never saw or served a homeless woman). Those homeless would not dare visit the SA chapel.

The deal was: If you went to the Army church you would get a free meal but you had to sit through a sermon.

But even this cost to come in was too high for some. So we went out to them.


The Salvation Army provided the resources—the trucks, food, kitchen and preparation. Local Christians provided the labor. This allowed the expense conscious non-profit to serve more people with a lower budget than any government program. AuthorRobert A. Watson writes,

“The Salvation Army,” says Peter Drucker, “is by far the most effective organization in the U.S. No one even comes close to it with respect to clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measureable results, dedication, and putting money to maximum use.”

In the act of charity we became charitable; we became better individuals; a better people and a better community. It is easy to keep your money and time in the proper perspective when you give them away.

John Horvat II, who heads the Tradition, Family, and Property Commission on American Studies, expands,

This is also why we insist upon an economy influenced by charity—that habit which disposes us to love God above all creatures, and to love ourselves and our neighbor for the sake of God.

Saint Antoninus teaches that, by putting the greater good over the lesser, charity regulates the affectations and will of man by giving him a true hierarchy of values, in this way, the fires of charity serve to quell the passion for unbridled profits and unrestrained consumptions. (John Horvat 2013) (Greene and Elffers 1998)

And even as our personal passions are brought under control, we must still work to create a customer and earn a profit. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, gives us another reason for making money,

I served as a corporate chairman for the United Way campaign in the early 80’s. Time after time, as I visited with CEOs to strong-arm them for contributions, I’d hear them say, “We’d like to give to you, but we can’t,” or, “We can’t give as much as we did in the past. Things are too tough.”

This experience bolstered my notion that only healthy, growing, vibrant companies can carry out their responsibilities to people and their communities. (Jack: Straight from the Gut, 2003)

Money has to fund the good work. And this will come from good people, not “good” government.

People in non-government institutions have the best perspective to judge the real need of those down on their luck. Non-profits are in the best position to deliver charity—not the state ruling authorities. The purpose of government is to restrain evil not to do good works.

A government bureaucrat would never be able to determine the difference between malnutrition and malingers.

Even I was able to spot the difference.


I was inside the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen Truck. It was late at the end of our route. I served a poor soul who looked to be well clothed and in good health. (We would look for well-being and protection from the elements.)

The chili-soup was getting low and I could only get a meager ½ a cup to the waiting homeless man. It was the best I could do.

He got angry. He was not crazy (we were trained to spot that too). He was not dangerous but miffed. He threw the cup to curb; he tossed the food. He wasn’t really all that hungry, I guess.

The homeless “hungry” didn’t need the food and I determined that the Salvation Army didn’t need me. I found other areas to volunteer for charitable work.

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10.



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