A Warning to the Idle

1 Thessalonians 5:14 — And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone (NIV).

It is important for you to understand Paul wrote this message to Christians, not the unsaved. Paul says idle believers should be warned. When a warning is issued, it is usually because there is impending danger. Severe weather warnings are for areas that could possibly be affected by tornadoes or thunderstorms. They encourage people to take the appropriate actions necessary to keep themselves safe.

If you are currently idle in your faith, or if your life is at a standstill, let this serve as a warning to you. The alarm is sounding, danger is looming, and you must take action now!

Being idle is the exact opposite of working. One can have the appearance of being busy, but still be unproductive. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11 says, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies” (NIV).

The Bible says an idle person is equivalent to a busybody. Interestingly enough, a busybody is a person who pries into or meddles in the affairs of others. He or she is a gossip and blabbermouth. Idlers talk a big game and can look as if they are working, but they accomplish little to nothing. They leech onto those who are doing the work. They expect things to get done but have no intention of lifting a finger.

I want to encourage you to examine yourself today. Do you need to get a job? If you’re able, actively pursue one. Are you fulfilling a role in your local church? Become involved. Do not be content with mooching off of those doing the work. Otherwise, Scripture indicates that you will not eat.

1 Timothy 5:13 — And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to (NIV).

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