…refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy and refuse to work the way we taught you. Don’t permit them to freeload on the rest. We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you, so get on with it. We didn’t sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us. In fact, we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn’t be burdened with taking care of us. And it wasn’t because we didn’t have a right to your support; we did. We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious.— 2 Thessalonians 3:6 MSG translation
The story goes like this….
Many years ago Denise and I worked with a young man who was very skilled in music and who had a stage presence that was simply electrifying. However, in his personal life, things were completely out of order. Not only did he make a constant string of unwise decisions for himself, but those horrendous decisions were detrimentally affecting many people’s lives.
As pastors, we saw what this man did; we heard about the effect his behavior was having on other people; and we counseled people who had been abused by him. But because he was so talented and had such a strong stage presence, people ignored his chronic bad behavior, overlooking it as if it were just a minor flaw in his life and revering him as someone “great.”
After many months of prayer, I had a strong “knowing” from the Holy Spirit that this young man was headed for serious trouble. I met with him to discuss his future, but he ignored my advice and pressed onward with his destructive behavior. I was left with no choice but to call my young leadership team together and tell them, “I know that you love this man. But because he lives such a rebellious life, refuses to listen to anyone in authority, and keeps making such bad choices in his life, I am asking that you withdraw from him and stop investing your time and energy in that friendship.”
What my young team didn’t know was that this young man had gone so far off track, he had begun committing criminal actions. As a pastor, I couldn’t divulge everything I knew, so I asked my leadership team to trust me and submit to me in this matter by withdrawing from any further fellowship with him. As difficult as it may have been for them to obey me, I was ordering them to break off their relationship with this young man who was belligerently headed for a major catastrophe. I was sure that if they stayed close to him, he would try to drag them into the crisis with him.
As time passed, our young leaders became exceedingly grateful that I had ordered them to break off their relationship with the young man. Eventually he violated international trade laws and got into such a dangerous situation with the Russian mafia that he went into hiding to keep himself from being murdered. But although he tried to hide, members of the mafia found him, kidnapped him, and held him until they were confident he had the funds to pay the debt he owed them. When he was finally released, he was black and blue from the multiple beatings he had suffered at their hands.
You would think that after experiencing such brutality, this young man would have learned to change his ways. But instead, he persisted in his rebellion to authority and continued to commit grossly wrong actions in his life.
Although this young man was a brother in the Lord, he had never learned to submit to authority and refused to listen to those who could help him.
Apparently, the apostle Paul was also aware of people who were unruly and insubordinate in the city of Thessalonica. It is evident that he was disturbed by this problem, for when he wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians, he gave them a stern order: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
Here is the LIFE PRINICPLE I WANT YOU TO GET TODAY:
“Brothers, we give you this command in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Distance yourselves from every brother who routinely lives his life out of order — breaking ranks, violating authority, living the life of a individualist, and continually refusing to submit to anyone’s authority. If you’re already bonded with a brother/sister/mother/father etc. like this, do whatever you must to get free of that relationship. It’s time to tie up all the loose ends with this person and to silently resolve that you are not going to spend time with them any longer. Although he’s a brother (In Christ), their actions are not in agreement with the teachings you learned from us.”
What is God saying to you about your current relationships/friendships?
Do you closely associate with any individuals who have no regard for the Word of God or respect for God-established authority? If so, do you have a good reason why you maintain an intimate relationship with them?
Are these the kind of close friends you need? Could it be that you need to back away from the people in your life who are living in rebellion?
Is it time to invest yourself in someone else who loves God’s Word, who is submitted to authority, and who has a heart to prosper under the blessing of the local church?
Withdraw From Every Disorderly Brother | Renner Ministries