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Request for Prayer


Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere, just as it is among you, 2and that we may be rescued from wicked and evil people; for not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 4And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will go on doing the things that we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Warning against Idleness

6 Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.

14 Take note of those who do not obey what we say in this letter; have nothing to do with them, so that they may be ashamed. 15Do not regard them as enemies, but warn them as believers.

Final Greetings and Benediction

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.

17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

12 Now we command such. He corrects both of the faults of which he had made mention — a blustering restlessness, and retirement from useful employment. He accordingly exhorts them, in the first place, to cultivate repose — that is, to keep themselves quietly within the limits of their calling, or, as we commonly say, “sans faire bruit,” (without making a noise.) For the truth is this: those are the most peaceable of all, that exercise themselves in lawful employments; 722722     “Ceux qui s’exercent a bon escient en quelque labeur licite;” — “Those that exercise themselves in good earnest in any lawful employment.” while those that have nothing to do give trouble both to themselves and to others. Further, he subjoins another precept — that they should labor, that is, that they should be intent upon their calling, and devote themselves to lawful and honorable employments, without which the life of man is of a wandering nature. Hence, also, there follows this third injunction — that they should eat their own bread; by which he means, that they should be satisfied with what belongs to them, that they may not be oppressive or unreasonable to others.

Drink water, says Solomon, from thine own fountains, and let the streams flow down to neighbors. (Proverbs 5:15.)

This is the first law of equity, that no one make use of what belongs to another, but only use what he can properly call his own. The second is, that no one swallow up, like some abyss, what belongs to him, but that he be beneficent to neighbors, and that he may relieve their indigence by his abundance. 723723     See Calvin on the Corinthians; vol. 2, p. 286. In the same manner, the Apostle exhorts those who had been formerly idle to labor, not merely that they may gain for themselves a livelihood, but that they may also be helpful to the necessities of their brethren, as he also teaches elsewhere. (Ephesians 4:28.)

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