Week 32 Saturday

Settle Down

Today’s scripture selection: Second Thessalonians 1-3

Key verse: Second Thessalonians 3:11

     There were times when the apostle Paul would just “tell it like it is.”

     Take this little passage for example:

     “We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive.  They are not busy; they are busybodies.  Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.  And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”

     That just about says it all.

     No excuses; no easy way out.  Just “settle down” and get to work.  And I love that nice little turn of phrase how they “are not busy; they are busybodies.”

     Now, on the one hand, such words could be used as a license to be insensitive; even cruel.  The kind of people who like to sneer at the downcast and truly troubled and shout “GET A JOB!” might have a field day here.  I can’t imagine that’s what Paul would approve.

     On the other hand, there is something to be said for challenging self-absorbed, selfish, “busybodies” who do more harm than good.  And, sadly, there are plenty of those around.

     So Paul’s warning is worth heeding.

     Not as permission to go about wagging our heads and fingers at those whom we think don’t “measure up” to our standards of productivity.  But to remember that we all have a calling – a vocation – as God’s children – to make the world a better place and to be instruments of grace however we can; wherever we can.

“Never tire of doing what is good.”

It’s as if Paul was saying – you have some real troublemakers among you – and they better take warning.  God will judge them for their actions.  But as for the rest of you – you get busy too – there is much to be done for the kingdom, and so little time.

All in all, it comes down to this.  Let’s all settle down and get to work – being kingdom people.  Let’s get busy.  And to God be the glory.

Prayer: Father, show me your will, that I may answer your call, with enthusiasm and energy.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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