2 THESSALONIANS 3:6
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.”
I know you’ve played that game. Am I right? Keep Away is one of those classic childhood games where someone is trying to gain control of an object while others pass it back and forth to avoid that person from getting it. It can go on for a long time. I have seen this game played all over the world. It may be called something else, but it’s the same game – Keep Away.
Paul is NOT talking about that. The word used here for that phrase (keep away) is only used twice in the New Testament, here and in 1 Corinthians 8:20. Both times it refers to us keeping ourselves protected from something. It means to withdraw from something, in this case an unruly brother. Notice he says “brother.” We are not to hang with those who say they are believers but live lives that are anything but holy.
Children want friends. Sometimes they choose friends that are not good for them. These “friends” may even claim to love the Lord, but their behavior is disrespectful, disobedient and not Christlike. What do you do? You have to intervene. Your child will be influenced by others. You cannot stop that. But you can stop contact or association with those who would lead your children astray.
As your children get older, this gets a lot harder. They spend more and more time away from your presence and more and more time with their peers. That is why you must instill in them at an early age the need to choose friends who share their Biblical worldview and who want to follow Jesus. If you don’t, you are just asking for heartache and rejection.
So, who are you hanging out with? Is there someone in your life who you know it is not good to be around? Let me ask you a harder question. Are you that person who says one thing about Christ, but totally ignore His commands to live a righteous life? Should other believers be “keeping away” from you? Ouch!
Father, show me quickly if I do anything to cause another brother stumble. Let me protect Your reputation from evil influence in my life. I pray for those believers who struggle with righteous living.