I love the term “walking in idleness.” The phrase sounds funny. If you are idle, you certainly are not walking. That requires action. This passage isn’t talking about physically walking though. This passage is focused on laziness. The Bible mentions laziness many times; each time laziness is mentioned in a negative light.
God has something for each of us to do in life. As part of one body, we each must move together in harmony, united as one for Christ. The focus is all about Jesus. The work is plentiful. Each of us a different deck of cards to bring to the table. If one or any of us are lazy, the body is not working properly. This doesn’t mean we cannot rest—this means our life isn’t complete rest.
This verse falls under the heading warning against irresponsibility. Laziness is certainly irresponsible. Think of the life God has given you—the time, talent, and treasures with which He blessed you. To not move is irresponsible. To not move, is to miss the opportunity to live for Jesus. To not move, is to allow life to pass you by without concern. Don’t be an idle walker. Walk with purpose. Walk in love. Walk for truth. Walk with Jesus.
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:6 [ESV]
Vinegar is not good for your teeth. Because it is acidic, it can attack at the enamel of your teeth. Smoke in the eyes can distort your view. It can cause your eyes to burn and water. Today’s proverb compares these things to lazy people.
Vinegar damages the good part of the teeth. Smoke prevents good eye sight. Lazy people definitely irritate their employers. Lazy people damage the work moral of the entire group. Lazy people create tension among the other employees and management. Some of their work load may even fall upon the shoulders of others as a result of their laziness. Like smoke prevents the eyes from seeing perfectly, so do lazy people ruin any chances of the workplace running smoothly.
You might not think slacking at work is a big deal, but it does not only involve you. If you are paid to do something, you should be doing your part. Paul wrote that we were to do our best as if working for the Lord. No matter where we are working or what we are doing, we are to do everything for God’s glory. What image are you showing others when you are like vinegar to teeth?
“Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.” – Proverbs 10:26