But we urge you, brothers, to do this [love] more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you… 1 Thessalonians 4:10b-11
Paul’s plea to the Thessalonian church (and TO US) goes something like this: “You know how much you love one another; how you have been taught by God to love one another? Do that! And then do it MORE and MORE.”
You might be surprised how Paul says to go about this Gospel-sharing, people-loving, soul-saving life… Live quietly. Mind your own affairs. Work with your hands.
As we study Paul’s life, we know this in no way is an exhortation to forget the plight of those suffering, compromise truth, or silence the Gospel message. Paul is all about the needs of others, proclaiming truth, warning of false teachers and cultural traps, and above all sharing the Good News. But this is a check on how we are living it out.
What is the opposite of living quietly? Seeking All. The. Lights. And. Sparkle. And. Fanfare. And. Praise. Loud, obnoxious, attention-seeking, panic-inducing, fight-picking and nit-picking. It is the flipside of a posture of peace and oneness with God who is in control. Paul is not talking about living ineffectively or silently or unproductively, but instead quietly. Humbly.
What is the opposite of minding our own affairs? Getting all up in everyone else’s business when you have no business being there. Meddling, comparing, critiquing, tearing down, gossiping, speaking for.
What is the opposite of working with our hands? Laziness, idleness, entitlement.
Live quietly; humbly; purposefully. Mind your own affairs. Work hard with your hands in all that God has called you to. Love others well.
Questions: How effective are you at living quietly? Minding your own affairs? Working with your hands? Loving others?