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]
Having two dogs changes the way you take the dogs for a walk. I decided it was in my best interest to purchase a double leash so that Max and Marci are fit together on one leash that midway connects to become two leads, one for each dog. Some people smile and giggle when they see Max and Marci because the two dogs are so very different, but despite their differences visible and not visible, they walk well on that double dog coupler.
In Colossians we read about being “properly fixed and fit together” because of what Jesus did on the Cross. Because of what He did, we are no longer “broken and dislocated.” We become part of One body. Paul wrote, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT).
So how then do we fit together with others as part of this One body? How do we work together with others in the Church? We are fit together because of Christ. We are fit together through Christ. We can work together because of Christ. We all have One Spirit. If things do not seem to fit so well, if things are crumbling around you, if you are not hearing “vibrant harmonies,” perhaps the presence of the Spirit is being drowned by man. With Him alone we can fit together.
“He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” – Colossians 1:18-20 [MSG]
Have you encouraged someone today? This appears to be a simple question but I challenge you to honestly consider your day and if you took the time to encourage someone. People need encouragement—look around and there is no way to deny it. Negativity is everywhere. People identify with their failures. People listen to what the world says about them. People live with defeat. People are struggling.
The amazing thing is that encouragement isn’t so difficult—it’s all about being intentional. As I was reading the Book of Acts, I read about how Paul was encouraging others. In Acts 20, it mentions how he encouraged the disciples and then as he traveled through Macedonia, he continued to speak words of encouragement. Moses was told to encourage his successor Joshua (Deuteronomy 3:28). Barnabas, “the son of encouragement,” surely lived up to his name as he was the one to welcome and work alongside Paul after his conversation (see Acts 9).
Again and again we are commanded to encourage each other. This was mentioned so many times because everyone needs encouragement. Let us be encouragers. Let us spend time building each other up rather than tearing each other down. We each are a part of the same body, and as a body needs each of its parts to work together, so we each need each other to fully function. Be an encouragement.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 [NIV]
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.” – Romans 12:4 [NIV]
My son has been playing the trombone since the beginning of the school year and it has been a very interesting time for me to listen to his practices. There are some songs where I can grasp the song that he is playing with only his trombone portion. There are other songs that get me a bit puzzled. It makes no sense to me because I am only hearing his part. Last night, I was blessed to hear the entire band perform the music as one, and the sound was beautiful and the songs that I did not understand became very clear. Each member joined together and the result was amazing.
We as Christians are one member of the Body of Christ. We each have a different role to fulfill in the Kingdom. We have each been made uniquely by God for His special purpose. We may not always understand our own purpose, and we may not comprehend the purposes of others as well. But as we join together with all of our differences, our unique gifts, our varying personalities, we are one Body. We make such beautiful music together when we are all playing our own part as God has designed. It is a symphony that only our great Creator could have written.
Today, don’t look at the differences in others and complain because you think things should be done your way or because it is difficult to join together and co-exist with someone so different from you, but see the beauty in those around you and encourage each other to fulfill the part God has called us to fill. God’s plan is perfect. Let us focus on His goodness and let us remember that every single one of us is important to God.
There they were standing around this big hole while one person was doing work on the lines below. I often wonder why so many people are needed for some of the roadwork jobs. There’s one man needed to do the digging. There’s another person needed to ensure no one drives or walks into the hole, because it has been proven that orange cones sadly aren’t enough. There’s the man in the hole doing the hardest job. Then there are two or more people standing by the hole as spectators. They aren’t the hole diggers, the line fixers, or the hole watchers. What exactly do they do?
In my town they are doing a lot of road work lately. I keep seeing this same thing over and over again. It reminds me of the Church. God’s Word tells us that there are many parts to one body. We each have our own part to play with the Great Commission. Some people are ministers, some are teachers. Some people are encouragers, others are called to the mission field abroad. Some people are prayer warriors. Other people are choir members. The list continues. One thing not on the list is a spectator.
Nowhere does God’s Word tell us to stand around and watch life. Nowhere are we told to not do anything. We are told to feed the hungry, clothe the naked. We are told to share the message of Christ. We are told to encourage one another, bear each other’s burdens. We are to be “doers of the word” (James 1:22). Being doers does not mean simply within the walls of the church. From all this, we know that we have never been called to be spectators. To die for Christ is to live intentionally. To live intentionally means there is no standing around.
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”
– James 2:14 [NLT]
Since I am taking classes, I don’t often get the chance to sit down with my children and watch movies very often. With school on break, I had a moment to watch the Smurfs movie with them. At the start of the movie, I began to think back to when I was their age watching the Smurfs. As I listened to the beginning of the movie, my attention was immediately captured.
I never realized how educational the Smurfs were when I was a child, but there was a very important point made fairly early in the movie. The narrator of the film was discussing how each Smurf had a different name which defined the role that they had within the community of Smurfs. He spoke about how it was important for each one to have a different role for harmony within the Smurf society.
Like the Smurfs, we have roles to fulfill in society. We each have been given various gifts for which to use for the benefit of the Kingdom. Some people may be great teachers. Some of us are good at serving others. There are people given the gift to minister. We all have spiritual gifts. The big issue is how we use these gifts and how we work together in our society.
The Bible says that we are part of one body. We each have a purpose. Romans 13:4-5a states: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” (NASB). Therefore, we should be using our gifts wisely, and we should also be respecting the gifts of others. We each play our part.
If not sure of the gifts you have, evaluate your life. What are you good at? What seems to be your specialty? Ask someone close to you. If you know what your gifts are, are you putting them to use? Is there a better way to use them? If you know someone who is not using their gifts, find a way to encourage them and provide positive guidance. There are times when people do not recognize their talents or they simply need a little push.
The Smurfs names suited the role they had in society, but one of the main characters, Clumsy, wanted a new role, which meant a new name. He wanted to be a hero. This transformation of Clumsy is something we each go through as children of God. Names have important meanings. There are so many name changes that can be found in the Bible (ex: Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel). These new names were given because there was a transformation and an important role for the individual. As Isaiah 62 states, the Lord will give each of us a new name.
Like the Smurfs, we must do our best to live in harmony with our fellow Christians. We are to build up, not break down. We are to use our talents to the best of our ability for the purpose that God intended. We also can find great encouragement and joy in knowing that we are part of the body of Christ and that with His mouth He will give us a new name.