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The Quiet Life

The Quiet Life

Words of Faith 3-25-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Thessalonians 4

    [11] Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, [12] so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

 

        Ah, the quiet life.  Isn't that what we all need?  Paul called upon the Thessalonian believers to make it their "ambition" to lead a quiet, industrious life.  The Greek word Paul used means bluntly "to be fond of honor."  We should be "fond of the honor" found in quietness and honest work.  We should emulate, seek earnestly, strive after and study this type of life. Sounds pretty important?  So what was this about?

       Does this mean we are not supposed to talk?  This would be difficult for some of us.  Actually, the Greek word which is translated here "quiet" means quiet in the sense of restfulness.  This is different from the word meaning "quiet" as opposed to "talkative."

        So Paul was not recommending that people take a monastic vow of silence. Instead, he was suggesting that the Thessalonians seek to live in a way that is "undisturbed, settled and not noisy."  We are called to a peaceful life, not a frantic one.  We are called to be at peace because of our relationship with and trust in God. 

       Paul was telling the Thessalonians to be less frantic but not less exuberant. A person who is always on the move is often distracted and exudes nothing of the peace of God.  Frantic people can be a bother to other people. A Christian who strives to be at peace with himself and God will be a source of peace to brothers and sisters in Christ.  Busyness is often a tool that the Enemy uses to keep us from hearing and obeying God.  

      Paul also recommended minding one's own business. The connection with brotherly love is evident.  Don't go putting your nose into places where it does not belong.  Proverbs 25:17 suggests this wisdom: "Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house-- too much of you, and he will hate you." 

       Within the Body of Christ, this is a thoughtful expression of love.  Don't intrude uninvited.  Don't push into issues that really do not concern you.  Paul was probably also concerned about the type of gossip, backbiting, and criticism that can so easily arise in churches.

      So. Hmmm.  Does this mean that we pay no attention to the telltale signs of abuse or self-destructive behavior in the home or life of a brother or sister?  Not at all.  That clearly would not be brotherly love.  Paul was consistent in his teaching; we are to be concerned for one another.  It is doubtful that he was suggesting that believers avoid responding to situations that need intervention.  

      In fact, Paul exhorted the Galatians that if someone is ensnared in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But we should be careful not to fall into sin in this process.  We are to carry each other's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ to love one another (Galatians 6:1-2). 

       Scholars suggest that the admonition to "mind your own business" may also have reflected the difficult times of persecution they were experiencing in Thessalonica.  It may have been advice similar to "keep a low profile" or "keep your head down."

       Paul was probably not suggesting that believers in all times be isolated from social issues or ignore injustice when there is a chance to speak up and make a difference.  As a Christian matures, God will often give opportunities to use one's influence to help others as Paul did on many occasions (Acts 16:16-17; 28).

       The "quiet life" Paul speaks of probably means a life of listening.  We live in a hectic and high-pressure world.  It is easy to get caught up in the pace of life and never hear what God wants to say.  A "quiet life" probably means budgeting some "quiet time" just to listen to God and to listen to those entrusted to our care. 

         Is your life too busy?  Is the pace too frantic for you to hear God?  Is your life so hectic that you can no longer be exuberant before God?  Do you have time that you are listening to the needs of those entrusted to you? 

         Have you been a Christian busybody?  Have you intruded into issues, matters or concerns that really are none of your business and should be simply lifted to the Lord in prayer?

          Is it time to makes some changes?

 

         Father God, teach me the discipline of growing still before You so that I may discover that You are God.  Give me respite from the busyness that I may be renewed and re-created in You.  Temper my mind and tongue so that I may be about Your business with me and not intrude into the way of others.  Help me to listen to You so that I will know when You need me in the life of another.  Give me the courage to walk with You today.  In Jesus' name.