Summary: Our text tells us what idleness is in God’s eyes. 1- Idleness is sinning 2- Idleness is stealing 3- Idleness is snooping

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INTRO.- Keep away from the brothers. That’s strange advice. Keep away from certain people. That may not be so strange.

ILL.- A farmer, seeing a lot of crows picking up seed he had sown in a field, took his shotgun and fired at them. All the birds flew away except one that lay wounded on the ground. Going to the wounded bird, the farmer discovered that it was his own pet parrot. It had gotten out of its cage and flown the crows in the field. Its wing was broken from the shot. Picking it up, the farmer said, "Polly, this is what happens from keeping bad company."

He put the wounded parrot under his arm and headed back to the house. As he neared the house, his little girl ran out to meet him. She said, "Have you shot any crows?" The farmer replied, "I have shot Polly." And before he could tell his little girl what happened, Polly piped up and said, "Bad company. Bad company."

Bad company could get a person shot or maybe imprisoned or something else.

ILL.- George Washington once wrote, "Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your reputation. For it’s better to be alone than in bad company."

ILL.- William Gladstone said, "Choose wisely your companions, for a young man’s companions, more than his food or clothes, his home or his parents, make him what he is."

Is he saying that peer pressure is stronger than parent’s pressure on a child? It could well be. It was in my case.

I Cor. 15:33 "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character."

Most of us realize that you just don’t want to associate with certain kinds of people. Evil or bad habits, etc. rub off on people. And it seems like evil rubs off easier than good does.

14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Paul is saying that there some within the church that we should not associate with! KEEP AWAY FROM THE BROTHERS! Wow!

Are there some bad brothers in the church? Could be. The church is the place where sinners can come to be saved but sometimes, it takes a while for some people to overcome their sin.

Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. If people act like they don’t want to associate with you, doesn’t that make you wonder? Like, "What’s wrong with me? What did I do?" And we may have done something wrong.

Keep away from certain brothers if they are not living right. It might help them to realize that they are wrong and need to change. Paul is talking about an idle brother. What’s so wrong with being idle? A little idleness is ok if it doesn’t lead to orneriness.

When some people get in the idle mode, they are not just idle. They are worse than idle. Some, in fact, are downright lazy!

ILL.- George Borrow said: It has been said that idleness is the parent of mischief.

ILL.- Isaac Watts said: Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do. Or as we heard in the past: Idle hands are a devil’s workshop.

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