So the largest part of this chapter is dedicated to convincing people that idleness isn’t becoming of a Christian. What in the world is going on here? Well here’s one possibility…
What would you do if you found out you just won the lottery? Would you quit your job or keep working?
What if you found out you only had one month to live?
And what if you won the lottery the day before you found out you had one month to live?
Perhaps that’s something like what some Christians in Thessaloniki are experiencing. They have just accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and understand that they are going to be part of an eternal Kingdom and that they are co-heirs with Christ. They have also been hearing that “Soon and very soon we are going to see the King… Hallelujah!” If you put these two things together you might decide to quit your job and become idle. In a community, this can become a dangerous and embarrassing dynamic. Certainly people are going to start looking down on Christians if they are becoming a burden to society. So, Paul makes sure and tells those in the church that they are to work and be productive. Don’t disengage and force others to provide for you.
That makes sense to me.