2 Thessalonians 3: Lazy Christians
Members of the Thessalonian church were refusing to take responsibility. Some had quit working because they thought Jesus would be back any moment and didn't see any reason to exert themselves. Others relaxed because there were plenty of wealthier members in the church who were always willing to share. Regardless of the reason, Paul was abhorred by such laziness, and set the rule "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." How can our laziness affect the work of Christ? What can we do about the laziness of others? Paul addresses those questions in this study.
Warming Up to God
When is it hard for you to feel motivated to do the work of your church?
Discovering the Word
- In what ways did Paul expect that his ministry could be enhanced because of the Thessalonians' prayer (vv. 1-2)?
- How is Paul's confidence in the Lord expressed in this request for prayer (vv. 3-5)?
- How would you describe the problem the Thessalonian church was experiencing (v. 11)?
- How did Paul make himself an example of the proper attitude toward work (vv. 7-9)?
- What actions are to be taken against those who refuse to work (vv. 12-15)?
Applying the Word
- What encouragement and ideas do these verses give you concerning your own prayer life?
- In what ways do lazy Christians still continue to take advantage of the work of others?
- What principles for discipline that could be applied in the church today do you find in this passage?
Responding in Prayer
Pray that like Paul you will be a good example to others in your attitude toward work.