NEITHER DID WE EAT ANY MAN’S BREAD FOR NOUGHT

2Th 3:6-9  “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. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.”

As members of the church of Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to live morally upright lives. We should never be seen walking with any brother in a disorderly manner as though partaking in, or approving of, the disorder. This does not relieve us of our responsibility of love to that brother to try and help him see his error (Jas 5:20). It is vital that we recognize the fact that Paul still identified those he was speaking about as brothers.

It is not possible to absolutely shun a brother and still labor with him. However, we can and should absolutely shun being partakers in his disorderly conduct. The scripture sets before us the manner in which we should live, and the Holy Spirit sends brothers and sisters to us that model that lifestyle. Paul, Silas, and Timothy were such an example to the churches they established by the grace of God.

Most of us have grown up with our parents and grandparents cautioning us about our behavior because there were some watching us with a desire to “be like us.” While we might not put much stock in that notion to start with, eventually we realize that there are people (siblings, friends, younger saints) that are indeed trying to be like us. It is imperative that, in recognition of this, we make sure they know how they ought to follow us; only as we follow Christ.

We should never take lightly the responsibility God has given us to live godly lives. This does not mean that we cannot enjoy the life that God has granted us. On the contrary, it means that in following the leadership of the Spirit and encouraging others to do the same that we are living life to the fullest. Living this life means that we would never demand as our due that which belongs to others.

Paul was ready to point out that they had the authority to expect certain things. However, it was more important to them to spend their strength before the brethren being a model (ensample), knowing these brethren were looking to them to show how they should live. Paul was careful to show the church that he was not there to cause them hardship (be chargeable) but rather to serve and instruct according to the good will of God.

May God give us the grace to realize the importance of behaving ourselves in a godly fashion at all times in every circumstance that we be not chargeable to His children!

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