2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
What is Laziness? It is being unwilling to work or being idle. Here is where Paul admonishes the church against laziness.
There were a few people falsely teaching the Thessalonian church that being as Christ was returning soon, people should stop working, lay aside any responsibilities, quit planning for the future, and just sit back and wait. Be that as it may, their absence of action just drove them into transgression. The church then had to start supporting this type of people which was burdensome and was wasting time. They sat around idly instead of helping other people, and they became ‘busybodies. They may have thought that they were living spiritually by not working, however Paul advised them to be mindful and return to work.
Being prepared for Christ does not mean that we sit on our stool of do nothing, it implies that we should be obeying Him in each everyday issue. Since we realize Christ is coming, we should live so that our confidence and our day-by-day practice will satisfy Him when He returns for us (2 Corinthians 5:9-10, James 1:22, James 4:17, 2 Peter 3:14).
In verses 6-10:
Notice how Paul starts this passage with a command to the people? He does not sugar-coat it. This is a serious situation. He is stating that believers need to be careful with the people that they are associated with. Bad habits start to rub off onto others. Good people can be influenced by others if they are not always on their guard.
Paul is referring to lazy people. Have we ever witnessed any lazy people within our church congregation? I have a sermon titled “A Pound of Tators” from the book of Luke, chapter 19, where I discuss the Tator Family. Here are a few of its members:
The last member, Speck Tator, is the lazy one. How many of them are there in our church? We read on how Paul states that if people don not work, they should not eat. We can take that two ways, one way is the natural. People who are physically able but are too lazy to do an honest day’s work, should not be supported by others (welfare, government assistance). The other is spiritual. People that are too lazy to work in the church in some form or fashion. It may not be a high-profile position within the church. There is plenty to do behind the scenes.
There comes a time for relaxation and recreation. We must have that balance of work, stress, and down-time. Take time for leisure activities but do not get lazy. We must make good use of our time for the Lord. Rest when needed but work as required (1 Thessalonians 5:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:11).
In verses 11-15:
A lazy individual who does not employ themselves in the service of the Lord winds up investing energy doing less supportive exercises, such as gossiping. That is the thing that a “busybody” or a 'snoop' does, they gossip or tattle, and that is what tears church members down. These sorts of people are not keen on getting the Gospel message out for God. They make aggravations of themselves and start mischief inside the congregation body. On the off chance that we discover our noses in different people groups business, we might be underutilized in the work of the Lord.
We should abstain from interacting with troublemakers in the church, other than to witness to them. Unfortunately, some believers may entertain socially with the “busybodies” just so the “busybodies” will not talk bad about them. We all have met these types of people, the ones that complain and decide to put their two-cents worth opinions into and about everything, grasping for attention and just wanting to stir something up.
Paul is instructing the church to cease and desist from supporting people with persistent laziness. Do not condone acting in a cruel manner towards them, but in brotherly love two or more should confront those believers that have sinned against the church (Matthew 18:15-17). That way, reconciliation can be made between the unruly person and the church (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:14).
Christians should be working to further the Kingdom, not just sitting back, and watching the world go by. Do not be a lazy Christian or a lazy church. Whatever task we have been called to do, assigned to do, or asked to do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto man (Colossians 3:23).
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