Be an example
Not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 2 Thessalonians 3:9
You are an example. No matter how you live your life, you are an example of something. Your life or at least part of your life is always on display. What example are you setting? Is it a godly, serving example or is it an idle, self-serving example?
In today’s text, the apostle Paul talks to the Thessalonians about how to be an example. He starts out telling them to withdraw or stay away from those who walk disorderly/disorganized and anyone who does not line up with the Word of God. Then he goes on to talk about how his team behaved when they were there in person. He says they were not disruptive or out of order, and that they worked to support themselves so they were not a burden on the church. Isn’t this interesting. Even though he went there to minister the gospel and serve the people, he didn’t want to be a burden financially to them. He qualifies this by saying his team was authorized, but they wanted to be an example to the church on how to conduct themselves in ministry.
He concludes this section by saying that those who do not work shouldn’t expect to eat and they are displaying an unruly life of being a busybody. Lastly, he tells them how to handle the people who refuse to work. He says they should work in quietness and eat their own bread.
Yikes! Those words seem kind of harsh, though I guess Paul was never one to beat around the bush. The point is that we are setting an example in the church and in the world. In doing that we are representing all of heaven. What message is it that we want to convey? Do we want to display the goodness and love of God, or do we want to show them that the kingdom of heaven is stingy and needy?
Today I want to encourage you to be an example of the goodness and love of God. Even when you have opportunity to cut corners and do the minimum requirement, become that person that goes the extra mile and beyond the call of duty. In setting the example of taking care of the biz as you see it needed, it won’t be long until you notice the people around you take a step up too.
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13