As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister. 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 NLT
While encouraging those believers at Thessalonica to “never get tired of doing good,” Paul also told them to “take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter.” What is implied in this exhortation from Paul is that there will be those in the church that will be faithful fulfilling their call but also there will be those who will be slacking off in their commitment to God. It seemed that there will be those who will not grow up into the level of maturity God wants them to attain and at times they will be the cause of discord in the church. It is easy to be dismissive about such problem in the church, but the admonition is clear, those who will take for granted their spiritual growth should be placed in notice for in this way, they might be awaken and stop their disorderly behavior. They should be warned and be reminded that what they are doing is wrong. Paul already addressed this matter in his first letter. “Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). What Paul is advocating in his second letter is to go a step higher when the first warning was ignored. Their wrong behavior should not be tolerated for doing so could be misconstrued as compromise or an approval of the wrong behavior. The process that the church will take should they discipline should reflect an intention to restore the erring member through repentance. “Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister” (2 Thessalonians 3:15). The purpose of the discipline is not to punish but to reinstate the fallen believer to the fellowship of the church. Actions taken correcting an erring believer will help remind followers of Christ that they should not in any way take for granted their walk with Christ. Corrections should be done out of love and humility having the best motive of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself” (Galatians 6:1).