Slackers and busybodies in the Church

May 6, 2017

II Thessalonians 3:6–II Thessalonians 3:18


Stealing time is a big problem

Time theft, deliberate waste and abuse of company time costs the U.S. economy over $120 billion a year. This loss is three times more than it is for recognized business crime. At some companies 20-40% of employee time is stolen. Office employees are 30% worse than blue-collar workers, perhaps because supervision isn’t as close. Workers under 30 are the biggest offenders. Watch out for executives who set bad examples. If the boss is a time thief, employees will be too. (Source unknown).


The word command means a military order. Some of the Christian soldiers in the church at Thessalonica were breaking rank and disobeying orders, and Paul had to admonish them. We find disorderly conduct (v. 6) and busybodies (v. 11) in the Thessalonian Church and Paul deals with this problem forcefully.

The Jews honored honest labor and required all their rabbis to have a trade. But the Greeks despised manual labor and their influence led many believers to be lazy. The faithful Christians were discouraged by the conduct of those who refused to work (vv. 6-9). “If they don’t have to work, why should we,” was their argument. The missionaries had taught the Thessalonians to be industrious. Paul made it plain that no Christian who is able but unwilling to work should be maintained by others. Even though Paul had the right to expect financial support he deliberately gave up this right so that he might be an example to the young believers. In fact he worked long and hard so as not to be a financial burden to any of them.

Moving from the example of working for a living Paul focused on another problem. Many were busybodies instead of being busy (vv 10-12). Instead of tending to their own business of earning a living they were meddling in the business of others. As a matter of Church discipline the faithful were not to have social contact with an idle person till he repented, but this did not mean to break off all contact (vv. 13-15). However Paul urged them to treat this person as a brother and not an enemy. Church discipline should always be to produce repentance and not division. Paul signs off by asking the Lord to bless them, fill them with peace and for His grace to be with them (vv. 16-18).


It has been my desire to be a good example in the area of work ethic and pass this on to my children. Much of my life has been ministry related but willing to get my hands dirty at hard labor also.

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