Sunday, November 19, 2017

A life to aspire to

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Thessalonians 3:6-4:12

TO CHEW ON: “… aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Who, these days, does that—“aspire(s) to lead a quiet life” or, as the Amplified puts it: “Make it your ambition … to live quietly…”? It’s far more common to want to be noticed, to get attention with lots of “LIKES” on social media, for example, or to achieve the goal of all goals and go viral.

Yet to me, perhaps to you too, there is something attractive and alluring about these instructions on how to live:

  • “lead a quiet life”
- “Lead a quiet life” brings to mind verses like “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” - Isaiah 30:15.

- Peter’s instructions on how to be a beautiful-from-the-inside woman include: “… a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” - 1 Peter 3:4.

- However, many Bible references to quietness also harbor within them an aspect of tension—the tension of waiting for something to happen: “It is good that one should hope and wait quietly / For the salvation of the LORD” - Lamentations 3:26.
“Truly my soul silently waits for God; / From Him comes my salvation” Psalm 62:1.

  • “mind your own business”
This advice is, at some level telling the people not to gossip and be busybodies. This must have been a problem in Thessalonica because Paul addressed it in 2 Thessalonians 3:11,12. I wonder how Paul would have viewed Facebook!

  • “work with your own hands”
From crocheting a shawl to building a house I’m sure most of us have experienced the satisfaction of a project we’ve completed with our own hands. Physical work is something the Bible endorses from cover to cover (Genesis 2:15; 1 Timothy 5:8).

These three bits of good-life advice are not only to make the readers’ lives better, but to serve as an example of a good and godly life to pre-believers - 1 Thessalonians 4:12.

In this time when we can be barraged with communication, information and noise from morning to night, doesn’t this lifestyle sound like a refreshing option?

PRAYER: Dear Father, at the root of this lifestyle of quietness, self-control, and work is confidence in You and Your ability to work things out in my life without my interference. Please help me to trust you so implicitly that quietness becomes my default setting. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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