Tag: follow our example
Scripture reading for September 23rd: 2nd Thessalonians 3
As a result of a false view of Christ’s return, some in the church had quit their jobs to wait for His arrival. As a result of idleness, they became a burden on others in the church and also began to gossip and cause division and strife. Paul’s pastoral heart gave instruction to avert trouble.
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. . . . . For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-10) Paul was emphatic and used his own life among them as an example. He had demonstrated the need to work and gave them a command to not associate with those who were idle.
“We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12) Paul knew human nature and directed those in error to get back to work. If they refused, Paul instructed the church to take note of them and not associate with them. They were not to regard them as enemies, but warn them as brothers. This action was for their ultimate salvation and restoration to fellowship if they repented.
Scripture reading for October 15th: 2nd Thessalonians 3:1-18
God created man to work and work is honorable. One of the results of a wrong view of the second coming of Christ in Thessalonica was a number of the church members quitting their jobs and living off of others in the church. This created strife and hard feelings. Satan is always out to divide the church!
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked day and night, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:6-8) Paul had set a godly example for these believers. He now warned them to stay away from those who were idle. Avoiding work was not proper for Christians. They were to work and provide for themselves and their families.
Paul had a rule that he always used and taught: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:20) Laziness is a sin that displeases God and causes strife in the body. Idleness allows too much time to gossip and interfere with the business of others. Paul commanded those who were idle to settle down and work so this problem would be taken care of.
In dealing with those involved, believers were to not have fellowship with them. They were to warn them as brothers, but not go so far as to treat them like enemies. (2nd Thessalonians 3:14-15) In looking at Proverbs, there are more warnings against idleness and laziness that about drunkenness. (Proverbs 12:27, 13:4, 19:15, 24:30-34) Christians should set examples of hard work and financial propriety. They should be the best givers and not just takers. Jesus, Himself, taught that it was more blessed to give than receive! (Acts 20:35)
If we are lazy in our daily work, we often will lack diligence to seek the Lord as well. Spiritually luke-warm people make God want to spit! (Revelation 3:15-16) Let it not be said of any Christian that they are lazy! We all want to eat, physically and spiritually!