In 1607, Jamestown, the first English settlement, was founded in the Americas. The colonists, having traveled in three ships for four months finally settled inland on swampy land with impure drinking water. The settlers faced many survival issues from malnutrition, malaria, pneumonia from the cold, and dysentery. The most significant problem they faced was instead of planting food crops due to lack of knowhow and laziness, most of the men spent their time digging for gold. As a result, the colony became dependent on waiting for the return of English supply ships and this did not happen for over a year. Only 38 of the 104 Jamestown settlers survived the wait. If it had not been for the strong leadership of Captain John Smith, they might have all died.
Thirteen years later, in the land we know as Massachusetts, settlers known as pilgrims, having suffered persecution in England, landed on Plymouth Rock in their chartered ship the Mayflower. They came to the new land to worship and follow Jesus Christ as the Bible commanded. Through the leadership of William Bradford and Captain Miles Standish, as well as a very important document known as the Mayflower Compact, the pilgrims set out to make a better life for themselves. They sought first the “Propagation and advancement of the gospel” and a future for their progeny. This, of course, was just plain work as they planted crops, built shelters, fished and hunted. Though many died from sickness, the pilgrims continued to make progress.
Can you see the difference between the people of Jamestown and the people of Plymouth Rock (pilgrims)? The people in Jamestown were dependent upon government to supply, while the people of Plymouth worked and relied on God to provide for their needs. You might say that many of the Jamestown settlers had a welfare mentality. Welfare mentality? What is it? The word welfare itself is not so bad, it’s simply means helping one another, but welfare mentality has come to mean the government is responsible for taking care of people. But is this idea biblical? Still yet, is this idea really beneficial?
The Apostle Paul writes in his second letter to the church at Thessalonica:
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.  For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;  Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:  Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10).
In the week of Creation, God set in place the whole concept of work for mankind. Man was to work six days, just as God labored six days in the marvelous work of Creation. God then set an example by resting on the seventh day, and directed man to set aside the last day of each week as a day of rest, as well. Many of our society’s problems can be traced to man’s refusal to observe that day of rest, but an even greater problem of not following God’s directive for six days of work has created laziness within our culture. Much of our American population (over 35%) has become dependent upon the provision of government. Today, it is possible for a person to obtain all kinds of government assistance from housing, food supply, utilities, medical, and even cell phones. However, you’ve heard the expression, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” This is especially true with government. Those who continue to take will one day come to a realization that by taking, there will be expectations coming in return. In exchange for these “free” benefits, many welfare recipients will find themselves having regular visits to and from social workers and an invasion of personal privacy. The workers will become their decision makers. Government loves for people to depend on it. This total dependency creates slavery, which is exactly the motive behind the free programs and handouts. The ultimate goal being to eliminate the middle class, which of course right now is paying the bills for the welfare recipients and establish only two classes of people, a powerful and wealthy class and a slave class.
When this happens, what freedoms we have all enjoyed, will be lost.
While I believe much of our unemployed do not wish to be in this position, the fact that there are so many relying upon government provision only points to it being just a matter of time before America reaches the described two class system. However, there is a way to turn the tide. People must realize the freedoms we enjoy come from God, who expects each of us to work. It takes hard work to make a living, but if the Pilgrims could do it 395 years ago, then why can’t we? Sure, they had assistance from Squanto and Chief Massasoit, but they didn’t quit. They stayed the course and built a life for themselves. As a result, one year later, they celebrated that first Thanksgiving. They thanked God for His provision in difficult times.
This Thanksgiving, as we gather around our tables to eat turkey and enjoy our families, let us be reminded that God has blessed our country and the American way. When we work to restore the value of good, hard and honest work, we can reclaim the confidence we once had to be our best and to truly be one nation under God.