Just as Paul commands the Thessalonians to embrace his teaching so am I, today, to embrace Paul’s command. I believe it would be much easier to accept Paul’s commands knowing that he had walked in my shoes experiencing rejection and persecution yet delighting to follow after Christ. Paul’s first thoughts revolve around who your friends are and how are they influencing your thinking. False teachers were easily manipulating the Thessalonians with distorted doctrine on Christ’ return. Paul equipped the Thessalonians just as he has equipped me to identify and avoid these false teachers through their idleness. According to Thayer, they are out of order as military soldiers quitting their ranks. In the specific context they are out of order “with the tradition that you received from us (Paul).” It seems intolerant and personally disturbing to ignore and move away from disorderly people, but Paul says for Christ’s sake do it. I must recognize these aren’t people out of faith in Christ who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus. These idle individuals are intentionally using faith to lazily sit around the lunch and dinner table to deceive people. I’m amazed that not only did these idle individuals lead the Thessalonians astray they took advantage of their friends food. They had rejected work and given themselves to being a professional busybody. I am humbled by Paul’s mind-set “we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.” Followers of Christ should be people to be imitated because of their disciplined work ethic. I should not be ashamed to avoid those who walk disorderly by avoiding work only to sit at the table and inaccurately discuss the return of Jesus Christ. I ought to be encouraged from this passage to be diligent at work taking enjoyment at what God has given my mind, hands, and feet to do. I ought also to be encouraged to refrain from the busybody role that is “officiously(eagerly) inquisitive about others affairs”. Part of the essence of living a fruitful life is to work quietly and earn a living.
How dreadful to wander from table to table as a busybody sinfully eager to be caught up on today’s Christian TMZ rather than finding pleasure in work as a creator made in the image of a creating God. Oh Lord may I find joy and exceeding pleasure quietly working controlling my tongue and glorifying you.