Explore God's Word Daily

A daily blog on Christianity.com

Dealing with idle busybodies

 

This section begins and ends with Paul giving a command "in the name of the Lord Jesus." He's not just padding out his letter--her really means it.

Read 2 Thessalonians 3 v 6-12

Keep away from...

  • - What sort of people is Paul concerned about?
  • - How should the Thessalonians react (v 6)?
  • - What should these people be doing instead (v 12)?
  • - How are they ignoring Paul's example and teaching (v 7-10)?

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PRAY

The Old Testament has a lot to say about being idle. Read Proverbs 10 v 4; 12 v 24; Eccleasiastes 10 v 18.

  • - From these verses, and from your experience of church life, why is idleness such a serious issue within a Christian community?

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It's important to remember that rest and idleness are not the same thing! We were made to rest as well as to work--God commans us to do so (Exodus 20 v 8-11). Some people will naturally struggle to work hard when they should, and so need to hear the challenge of 2 Thessalonians 3. Others will naturally struggle to rest properly when they should, and so need to hear the call of Exodus 20 v 11!

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APPLY

Which do you think you most naturally struggle with--not being idel, or not being restful? It may well be easier for a Chrsitian who is close to you to asnwer that question--why not ask them?

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...idle busybodies

  • - Make two mental lists...
  • >> From v 6 and 10-12, what are the characteristics of these busybodies?
  • >> From v 7-9, what alternative way of life did Paul model?
  • - What is it that makes one of your lists more attractive than the other?

We have encountered the idel before. In 1 Thessalonians 5 v 14, this church had been told to warn them. At first glance, this might seem to be contradictory: how can the church warn those they should keep away from? But Titus 3 v 10 is helpful: "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him." 

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PRAY

  • - Do you view idleness as seriously as the Bible does?
  • - How might Christians today go about warning fellow believers who are idle?

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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