2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 … Paul was in Corinth (in southern Greece) when this letter was written. We’ve previously indicated that this second letter seems to be prompted by reports that Paul picked up from travelers coming to Corinth from Thessalonica. Among those reports was an indication that some in the church had decided that, since the Lord’s return was imminent, there was no need to work. They apparently quit their jobs and were sitting around waiting for the Lord’s return. There was also some unruliness among members of the church which would certainly not be a good witness, so Paul addresses that first (3:6), encouraging the church to follow his example of diligence, hard work and paying your own way. That was the intentional example Paul set in founding churches (3:9).
Then, he addresses those who had quit working with a frequently quoted admonition: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” He includes an even more important encouragement in 3:13 for followers to never weary of doing good, which frankly is a concept we ought to adopt. Life is full of twists and turns, but good works at home, in the community, in our church, and in the world is always fulfilling, always worthwhile and always needed.
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