Busybodies with Busy Lips and Idle Bodies

Thursday, February 9, 2012

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 KJV).

The church at Thessalonica was one of the Apostle Paul’s exemplary assemblies. They exhibited spiritual growth, and their testimony impacted their lost and saved neighbors for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 1:3-10). Their love for one another was also noteworthy (4:9,10). However, some of the Thessalonian believers were guilty of being busy… only with their lips.

In his first letter, Paul exhorted the Thessalonians: “[We beseech you to] study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (4:11). Some of these believers were so busy moving their lips that their bodies never moved (lazy). What little they did, they were interfering in the lives of others (being meddlesome), and then repeating the matter to others. This was obviously problematic, and Paul warned them to do less talking (“be quiet!”) and more work.

Perhaps a year or two later, Paul writes to the Thessalonians again. In today’s Scripture, we read that the previous issue—the busybodies with the busy lips and the idle bodies—is still unresolved. There are still believers who “are walking disorderly, working not at all.” Instead, these “busybodies” must be told again, “work with quietness” and “eat [your] own bread.” Yes, Paul had to tell some believers to quit being lazy, to quit mooching off of others, to work, and to do their tasks quietly (minding their own business and avoiding gossip).

Saints, we need to guard against laziness and busy lips (gossiping). We are just as human as the Thessalonians; we need to take an opportunity to examine our hearts in this regard. Am I guilty of gossiping or being lazy? If yes to either, why not obey today’s Scripture by faith?