2Thessalonians 3:7-9 For yourselves know how you ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
‘Follow’ [Greek: mimeomai] imitate (3:9; Heb. 13:7; 3Jn. 1:11). Paul constantly held himself up as an example for all Christians, for Christ had chosen him to be this for all men (1Tim. 1:16).
‘Disorderly’ [Greek: atakteo] means out of order; not in order of battle; not at one’s post of duty; undisciplined; irregular; lawless, and disorderly. They act according to their own wills and are idle busybodies (3:11). Paul here says that he did not go out of his rank or post of duty, but kept his place and discharged his duties at all times and places as a true and tried soldier of Jesus Christ (3:7).
‘Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you.’ We paid for what we ate of any man’s bread. We worked and paid our own debts. We were not chargeable to any man. We laboured night and day not to be a burden on them and to be an example to all men not to depend upon others for support (3:8-9).
‘To make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.’ The example that they set in following Christ (1Pet. 2:21-23) we can follow [Greek: tupos] example (Php. 3:17; 1Cor. 10:6, 11; 1Thess. 1:7; 2Thess. 3:9; 1Tim. 4:12; 1Pet. 5:3); pattern (Tit. 2:7; Heb. 8:5); manner (Acts 23:25); fashion (Acts 7:44); form (Rom. 6:17); figure (Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14), and print (John 20:25).