Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right. 2 Thessalonians 3:13
There was a problem in the early Christian church: they believed Jesus was going to return immediately. That belief was problematic for a lot of reasons, but one of the Apostle Paul’s main concerns was that their actions led some in the community to become lazy, selfish and greedy.
If you thought Jesus was coming tomorrow, you might act the same way! We don’t get a detailed list of what people started doing at that time, but it does seem that some decided to quit working (would you go into work if you thought the world was going to end tomorrow?). Others seemed to have been eating food for the community without contributing anything. Other than that, we’re left to guess.
Whatever the case, Paul makes it clear that the point of following Christ isn’t just to sit by and wait for the end to come. No, Paul insisted to the Thessalonian community, there was still work to be done.
The idea that Jesus is coming back is still powerful in many Christian circles, and even today, that leads people to bad theology. I’ve heard of Christians saying things like, “Why does it matter how we treat the planet if Jesus is going to come and take us all away anyway!”
It’s the same mentality that Paul was warning against. If anything, the potential return of Christ makes it all the more important! If he is coming like a thief in the night, then we’d better shape up! You wouldn’t want to be caught being lazy, selfish and greedy when Christ comes back.
Paul concludes his thoughts on this, by imploring those who are doing the right thing to keep fighting the good fight (regardless of what others are doing). “Do not be weary” he says, “in doing what is right.”