“Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before.12 In this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers, and you will not have to depend on anyone for what you need.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 “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 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
I chose this verse in particular because it represents almost the exact opposite of what we see in society today. I don’t recall a time period when there were more ‘reality’ shows– voyeuristic invitations to intrude upon the private lives of stars or aspirants in a desperate bid to garner public attention.
And what an odd juxtaposition of words in the first phrase…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…isn’t it everyone’s ambition to be famous, wealthy, popular like the people on these TV shows? But how often do we witness tragic results from the toxic combination of wealth, self-promotion, boredom and fame?
Some people are called into the spotlight naturally or by accident, through a heroic act, public service or the display and use of special gift or talent given them by God, such as music or athletics.
We might long to be in the spotlight, at least once in a while. However, most of us lead a “quiet life,” raising a family, going to work, going to church, cleaning house, cooking dinner, leading Awanas, coaching Little League, visiting elderly parents and the list goes on. Can you see the value in these things? This passage affirms that God does.
God’s plan has work for us all and the quiet life can accomplish much within a family and a community. I have a friend who purposes to live a ‘quiet life’ and in this life has given gifts of the work of her hands that have blessed many people. Creating a happy home where a healthy, godly family can grow in love and in service to others in their community is a gift in and of itself. Working with your hands to support yourself and your family without having to rely upon others, unless in times of tragedy or misfortune, is of great value as well.
In addition, a quiet life leaves room for reflection, to meditate on God’s word and His promises, Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
While you may win the respect of outsiders, even living a quiet life however, does not guarantee that you will always fly under the radar of notice when it comes to faith. As it says in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NLT) Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
We are all adequate for, or will receive God’s power when needed, to walk the path laid out before us, most often a path of little notice and quietude. The ultimate purpose of our lives after all, is to bring glory to God, not to ourselves.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Challenge: Nothing bright. Use ‘quiet’ colors in your creation, either pastels, or low key earthtones, soft, muted shades of beige or neutrals.
Card by Heidi Steinhebel
Thank you Heidi for being a guest designer this week. You can learn more about Heidi and see her work by visiting her blog at http://heidishappystamping.blogspot.com