Reading: 2nd Thessalonians 3: 6-13
Our passage today is dangerous. Paul is getting on the church in Thessalonica for laziness. It is laziness in a few ways. The laziness is something we continue to fight.
The first area Paul addresses is being idle. This idleness in the faith is perhaps the most dangerous of the three forms that Paul addresses. Many of the people are living as if Jesus has already returned. They are not following what has been taught by the apostles. Instead of faithful participation in worship and in the life of the church, their lifestyle has become a bit wild and has become a stumbling block to others. They are not living a life worthy of the example taught and set by Jesus.
The second area of laziness that Paul addresses concerns working. Some are taking advantage of the generosity of others. Jesus and the apostles after Him taught about loving one’s neighbors and caring for the needy. Apparently some who are capable of working are choosing not to work. Instead they are taking advantage of others. Paul says, in essence, if you want to eat then work. He encourages them to follow the example they set when they were with them.
The third concern of Paul are the busybodies. Some are appearing to be working hard or to be faithful to God, but are really deceiving themselves and others. They are busy doing nothing. Paul encourages them to drop the pretense and to get serious about living as a disciple if Jesus Christ.
I am guilty of all three charges at times. At times, one can go through the motions of worship or Bible study. One can pretend to be busy instead of making time to volunteer or serve. On occasion, one might respond to a personal text or phone call while at work. At other times, one may take advantage of others or a situation for one’s own benefit. And every now and then, one may be idle while appearing to be busy. That may really be a game of Solitaire up on the computer screen instead of that report.
It is a challenge to always faithfully serve God and others and to always worship and love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. But it is our calling. It follows the example that Christ set for us. Lord, help me in my weakness. God, strengthen me when I am tempted. Holy One, fill me with your Spirit when I feel weak. Walk with me daily Jesus.