The Cold Shoulder

2 Thessalonians 3:3?6 (6)

Are we to give some Christians the “cold shoulder” in order to show our disapproval of their actions?  The context of this letter lists some contributing factors that led to the instruction in 2 Thessalonians 3:6 to withdraw from those causing discord.   

1) Some were disorderly, 2) Some walk contrary to the tradition, 3) Some didn’t obey the word of this epistle, 4) Some were not leading a quiet life, 5) Some were interfering in the affairs of other people, 6) Some would not work to support their families, 7) Some were ‘unruly.’ 

The context of the letter, however, indicates that the “withdrawal” from these people was not to be destructive but redemptive.  Our purpose is to help the brother see the error of his way so that he can be restored and become a productive member in the church.

When I was in the 9th grade I entered my Latin class for the first day of instruction.  I was excited to learn this language.  It was a very large class and I found a seat in the crowded room toward the back.  I was having trouble with my allergy that day and made a snuffling sound in an effort to keep from sneezing.  The Latin teacher, probably feeling that she needed to establish her authority singled me out and humiliated me in front of the class.  Needless to say, my enthusiasm for Latin waned.  There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with the appearance of discord.  We can destroy or we can work toward constructive resolution.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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