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From: Credit schemes – Footsteps 26

How enhancing access to credit can help people lift themselves out of poverty

Income generation and co-operatives

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6–13.

The apostle Paul was deeply troubled by a report that some members of the church at Thessalonica were idle without doing any work, but were active in a wrong way, for example, by interfering in other people’s business (v 11). This created a bad influence in the community which eventually had to take on the burden of providing for such idlers (1Thess 4:2). So Paul, using himself and his friends as models, encourages the Thessalonians to work together in order to generate income and live on their own earnings (v 12). Let us look at the characteristics of Paul as a model for ourselves:

It will be impossible to support ourselves, our families, the church and our community unless we develop the habit of ‘saving’ a small amount regularly out of what we earn. Otherwise our hard work may be in vain. If Joseph had not stored up food during the seven years of plenty, he and his people, both in Egypt and Canaan, could hardly have survived the time of famine (Genesis 41:33–57). Co-operative efforts with an attitude of ‘saving’ can build a prosperous community. It is for this reason that we have, in many places, co-operative banks and societies which offer several savings schemes and which distribute the money saved for community welfare projects. If we work hard to generate income and use facilities to save our resources, possibly we can overcome economic injustice and inequality.

by Dr Jey Kanagaraj

Questions for discussion

Dr Jey Kanagaraj is a lecturer at Union Biblical Seminary, PO Box 1425, Bibvewadi, Pune, 411037, Maharashtra, India.

EDITOR: The author of the Bible study on ‘Women at wells’ in issue No.24 was Elizabeth Hill and not David Partington. We apologise to Drishtikone for this error.

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