In the last few verses of 2 Thessalonians Paul writes about one more concern he has about the church – laziness. It seems as if some of the Thessalonians were failing to work and instead had become “busybodies” (people who get involved in the affairs of others). Paul challenged those people to “work in quietness and eat their own bread.” (3:12) If anyone continued to be lazy, Paul commanded that the mature Christians “withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly” meaning that they should not fellowship with them (3:6). “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (3:11) A believer in Jesus Christ was to be characterized as a hard worker and one who provided for the needs of his own family. There is no excuse for being lazy! The mature Christians had become very frustrated because they were having to support those who would not work and may have been threatening to stop helping anyone who was in need. For this reason Paul writes “do not grow weary in doing good.” (3:13) He did not want the Thessalonians to stop helping everyone in need just because a few were being lazy; instead, he urged them to keep giving.
In reference to all that he has written in this letter Paul writes “if anyone does not obey our word…note that person and do not keep company with him….Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (3:14-15) Paul had addressed persecution, false teaching, and disorderly conduct and he expected the people to obey what he had written. Anyone who failed to do so should be disciplined with the purpose of repentance and restoration (3:15). Paul ends his letter asking that “the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (3:16)
Dear God, may I always obey Your word. Help me to change areas where I am disobeying so I might be effective in my witness to others.