Paul begins by telling the Christians of the importance of loving one another.  In Peter's second letter (2 Pet. 1:7), he emphasizes first brotherly kindness then love for all which includes people who don't know Christ as their Savior.  Paul tells the Thessalonian believers that their love for each other is not stagnant but rather should be growing as their relationships towards one another grows deeper.  This love is not exclusive as they are not to forget those who are still lost in their sin. The ultimate love is to show Christ's love to those still outside the fold and invite them into this loving and redeeming relationship.  Peter also confirms this message.  We are to love all people with the compassion of Christ. 

Paul then goes on to tell us of the importance of being meek, having a quiet spirit, minding our own business and working hard with our hands.  Idleness can cause us to sin towards one another through gossip and being a busy body.  We all are responsible for our own actions and may all our actions be wrought in love and service for all.  Paul stresses that everyone who is physically able, should work.  In Paul's second letter (2 Thess 3:10) he stresses the fact that he who refuses to work, should not eat. He seems to correlate this fact to those who were running from house to house being a busy body yet not taking care of their own household by working.  (Apparently if Paul lived in today's world, he would not approve of entitlement programs.)  I myself as a Visitation Pastor could cause a lot of trouble by spreading rumors from house to house.  Paul's warning shows that none of us are exempt from the temptation to gossip nor trying to elevate ourselves above others thus making ourselves look better than we are.  This is nothing more than being prideful which is a sin we all must weed out of our lives daily. 

Verse 12,
"That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."  When Paul is speaking about those who are without, he is referring to those who don't as yet have a personal relationship with Christ as Savior.  As I am out ministering to those in the hospital and prison etc, I try to take every opportunity to witness and give out tracts that God can use to touch a life and draw them to Himself.  Now suppose I was known to be dishonest, do you think my witness for Christ would be any good?  Folks would no doubt be thinking, "If the gospel has not changed him, what could it possibly do for me?"  We can have the finest message to give to others but if our 'walk' is inconsistent with our 'talk' then our witness is null and void. 



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