One further order we must give you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: don’t associate with the brother whose life is undisciplined, and who despises the teaching we gave him. You know well that we ourselves are your examples here, and that our lives among you were never undisciplined. We did not eat anyone’s food without paying for it. In fact we toiled and laboured night and day to avoid being the slightest expense to any of you. This was not because we had no right to ask our necessities of you, but because we wanted to set you an example. When we were actually with you we gave you this principle to work on: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” Now we hear that you have some among you living quite undisciplined lives, never doing a stroke of work, and busy only in other people’s affairs. Our order to such men, indeed our appeal by the Lord Jesus Christ, is to settle down to work and eat the food they have earned themselves.
Our orders—backed up by the Master, Jesus—are to 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.
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