We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12
Giving something to someone unwilling to work can lead to unhealthy idleness. Paul faced this problem with some of the new believers in Thessalonica. He wrote a letter to comfort them by affirming the reality of Christ’s return. However, they misunderstood that Jesus was coming immediately and stopped working to wait. These people lived off the church and used their spare time to create problems. Paul tells them to get back to work. He explains how even as a missionary, he worked night and day to provide for himself and to model this life. He gives them the rule, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
We need to be careful about doing for others what they can do for themselves. This sometimes is complicated and challenging, but the principle holds. Sometimes the way we help can cause someone to stay in a rut. It can hurt them by rewarding negative behavior. Out of kindness, we want to reduce the pain of a poor decision, especially for our children. But most often, growth requires pain. Doing things for someone when they won’t do it for themselves can shield them from the consequences, reward their poor choices and even cause more significant pain down the road.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Think through the different relationships in your life. Is there somewhere you might be rewarding negative behavior? Ask God to give you the strength to step back so he can work in that situation. Contact your campus pastor if you need help processing a specific situation.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
August is PRAYER. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.