In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.
2 Thessalonians 3:6
Here Paul gives us a command from Christ Himself. It’s not an opinion or a suggestion. It’s a guiding principle that Paul will apply to a specific situation later on.
Unfortunately, the translators use a more specific word than the one Paul used. The word idle is not in the original Greek. Paul uses a word that means out of order. He’s talking about people who are not living in their God-assigned positions in the body of Christ.
I’m not talking about religious positions. You can be a lawyer, plumber, or IT specialist and still fulfill your calling in Christ. I’m talking about knowing where you fit into God’s kingdom and functioning in that role.
Paul also talked about those who don’t live according to the teachings passed on from the apostles. They gave us a specific pattern of living that’s recorded in the Scriptures. The goal of every believer should be to follow this lifestyle.
That being said, our generation of the church has some definite issues that need to be overcome in relation to this command. The first is that we don’t like commands of any kind, especially in regards to our spiritual life.
If someone wants to give us their opinion, or suggest something to us, we’re usually okay with that. We just don’t want to be told that we have to do something; or even worse, being told we can’t do something that we want to do.
Another problem I see is that a large percentage of the modern church has no idea what the pattern of living is that was handed down by the apostles. They don’t know what a Christian lifestyle should look like.
Then, there’s that part about keeping away from or avoiding those whose life is out of order. The fact is, out of order people like being around other out of order people. It helps them to suppress any feelings of guilt about how they’re living.
It’s sad that we live in a time in history when many believers simply want to blend in with the world. We say that we want to be “relevant”. But in many cases, it’s because we want what the world offers.
Those of us who try to live according to the pattern handed down to us are the ones who are avoided. In many instances, we’re labeled as “self-righteous” or “haters”.
It’s time for the church to pray for a restoration of the Scriptural patterns. It’s time for the church to once again walk according to the lifestyle handed down to us from the apostles.
Make that a priority in your prayer time with the Lord.
Question: What are the main attributes of a Godly lifestyle?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi