When writing to the Thessalonian believers Paul had to rebuke certain ones in the church who refused to work. They had become a nuisance by sponging off the rest of the family of God. They also became what the scriptures call “busybodies”. Paul then addressed the diligent and faithful members of the church with these words in 2 Thess. 3:13: “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good”. The context indicates that the lazy, disorderly, busybodies had caused a spirit of weariness to those who were in leadership in the church. As God’s servants were involved in faithfully meeting legitimate needs, they were not to let the few rascals discourage them in the good work of ministry. You might say that these individuals had become “joy-suckers”.
Do you have any joy-suckers in your life? People that you have allowed to steal your joy in the Lord and His work. These people can dominate our time and create a fog of discouragement around us. What should we do to negate the power of these joy-suckers in our life? In the context here in 2 Thessalonians Paul told them to separate from them. 2 Thess. 3:6,14,15 says: “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother”. Admonish the disorderly, when necessary, but don’t give those joy-suckers space in your life. We should separate from them, but we also should draw near our Lord. We are instructed to focus on the faithfulness, the love, the patience, the peace, and the grace of Jesus Christ.
People will fail us, hurt us, and discourage us. But instead of giving headspace to the joy-suckers, give heart-space to the great joy-giver, Jesus Christ.