Picture a military parade. Uniforms are pressed. Buttons are polished. Shoes are spit-shined to a high gloss. Weapons are clean and shinning. Each soldier moves in perfect unison with the group. They march, halt and turn with perfect precision. Ranks and files are absolutely straight. No one stands out. You see the group as a whole, not as individuals.
Now imagine one person in the back. He forgot his hat. His blouse is unbuttoned. His uniform is wrinkled. His weapon is dirty. He has a disheveled look. He is a step behind everyone else. He doesn’t move with the group. All you need is one person like that and you lose the symmetry of the group. Instead of seeing them as a whole, your eye is drawn to the unruly soldier. He is the distraction. He is out of step.
Paul uses the word twice in II Thessalonians.
The first instance is in today’s verse and the second is in 3:11, “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, not working at all, but are busybodies.”
Let’s consider this in the context of the local church. The “unruly” are those who are out of step with the rest of the church. They distract from the unity of the church. They are in opposition. Their heels are dug in. They complain. They criticize. They do not “esteem” the leaders. Lord, please let that never be said of me!