Disrupting the fellowship

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-8 NLT


Paul, from the text, addressed the issue about idleness. This problem has been causing disruptions in the church. There are members of the church that quit their jobs because of their wrong view of the coming of Christ. This was alarming for it affected the unity of the church. Their disunity also affected the testimony of the church to the community because the people outside of the church could see the disorderly conduct of some of the church members. When it comes to the body of Christ, the church, there is a difference between attending and belonging. Those who belong to the church should “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Members are to connect with one another for “we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part” (1 Corinthians 12:13-14). Our commitment with one another will help others in their walk with the Lord. Idleness should not be tolerated. Paul’s admonition as to how to deal with those who are idle seemed harsh, “Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.” He gave this command for it is not in line with God’s expectations from Christians. Paul challenged the believers to imitate him and his missionary friends for they had lived their lives working hard, earning their way while at the same time establishing the church, instructing the believers, and sharing their lives. Christians should avoid imitating the attitude of the world where they expect others to take care of their needs and insist that this is their right. Misinterpretation and misapplication of God’s word will lead to disruptions in the unity of the body of believers. This is why proper understanding of God’s Word is very important. We are called upon to help one another especially those who cannot work. But we are also warned not to tolerate those who chose to “live idle lives.”


Blessings,


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