We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 2 Thessalonians 3:11 We are living in some very unusual times. The pandemic is causing many people to work from home and to worship from home. Even school-children are struggling with the new normal of attending classes virtually. Many colleges are allowing students to take their classes on a Pass/Fail basis because they know the anxiety of the time is making it challenging for some students to focus intellectually. Religious leaders are continually challenged to find effective ways to keep the members of their churches engaged in the work of ministry. Indeed, because so much of the Church work is being done virtually we are now faced with the danger of having too many idle believers in the body of Christ. Spiritual idleness is a major threat to the great commission of Jesus Christ. Virtual church or virtual ministry is a great alternative in light of our current circumstances. However, the work of ministry cannot stop because people cannot congregate in a church building. Now more than ever, the Church of Jesus Christ has to step up. We have more hungry people to feed. The need for affordable housing has increased. Far more marriages are struggling because of the anxiety of living in a pandemic. People are losing their jobs at an alarming rate. What is worst, the statistics attest to the fact that more and more people have stopped participating in religious services. Even believers that were accustomed to going to weekly Sunday services are becoming more disconnected from their local church. The experts tell us that churches will lose at least twenty percent of their membership during the pandemic. Many churches have already closed their doors and gone out of business. Christians must realize that we are fighting for the relevancy of the Church of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we cannot afford to be idle. In today’s text, the writer warns believers in Thessalonica about the danger of idleness. He wants them to stop being busybodies and get busy. Busybodies talk about people that are struggling, but they won’t do anything to help. Busybodies complain about the quality of the streaming of the Sunday service at their local church, but they barely attend, and they don’t support their church with their tithe and offering. Busybodies have a lot of complaints but zero solutions. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that we were created to do good works that God prepared in advance for us to do. James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). The word of God reminds us that we are not saved by works, but we are saved to work. Therefore, spiritual idleness is an affront to the God who gave us His only Begotten Son for our salvation. Spiritual idleness affects our prayer life negatively. It can lead us to become disconnected from the body of Christ and disobedient to God. We have too much to pray for during this season of political unrest to be spiritually idle. With the large number of people dying of COVID-19 every day in our cities and states, we simply cannot afford to be spiritually idle. What should we do to avoid spiritual idleness? First, pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the most effective ways to use your spiritual gifts and talents for the kingdom of God. We can do many things to stay busy (i.e., prepare meals for the elderly, go grocery shopping for the elderly, help the feeding ministry at your church, be a mentor to a younger person, etc.). Second, find opportunities to serve and get involved in a ministry. During this pandemic, churches need many more volunteers to help sanitize church facilities to keep everyone safe. Third, spend less time watching television or on social media (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and more time doing kingdom work. Our spiritual enemy wants us to remain idle. He knows the power we have to tear down his kingdom when we are doing kingdom work. He is hoping that you and I would be busybodies instead of being busy for the Lord. Let us say as Nehemiah said to Sanballat and Geshem in Nehemiah 6:3, ‘we are doing a great work for the Lord and we can’t stop’.
Questions For Reflection
What are you doing to avoid spiritual idleness? How can your local church help you to avoid spiritual idleness? Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help believers who are flirting with spiritual idleness. Send you Spirit to encourage and empower them to do your kingdom work to the glory of Jesus Christ.