Don’t become a busy-body!
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.