And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and 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.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12
Mind your own business
When you hear the word ambition, what comes to mind? Passion? Success? Recognition?
When you hear the word quiet, what comes to mind? Unnoticeable? Private? Timid?
When God’s Word tells Christians to “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life,” that idea seems like a contradiction. Maybe that even sounds impossible. Our lives are lived online where there is little or no privacy. The internet is not a quiet place. Social media is for ambition.
Am I supposed to get off social media? Do I say nothing? Can I be ambitious? What if I am not naturally quiet? What is a Christian supposed to do?
When Scripture says living an ambitiously quiet life means you should “mind your own business,” God is not instructing you to keep your head down and never say anything. God is not advising you to move to a monastery high atop a mountain and cut off human interaction.
Rather, God’s Word is telling you not to express certain characteristics that have become common, even celebrated, in our culture. Be the person who does not need to give a hot take about everything that happens personally or globally. Be the person who isn’t giving a knee-jerk reaction to their every emotion. Be the person who isn’t promoting their “personal brand” every chance they get.
What should we do instead? Be selfless. Serve others. Speak timeless truths. Spend time talking about eternal matters. In other words, your ambition should be to humbly, quietly serve God by serving others.
What’s your motivation for that lifestyle? 1 Thessalonians 4:12 says that minding your own business and living quietly “may win the respect of outsiders.” Our purpose in all of this is to be like Christ who humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8). In a winsome way, let’s point people to Christ. His cross. His love. His forgiveness.
This is needed now more than ever. Look at your social media feed. People are panicking, picking fights, and putting private emotions on public display. Christians have a unique opportunity to be different simply by being quiet. Be quiet about the things that do not matter so that you can point people to the one thing that does matter—Jesus’ love!
Someone once said; “Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some person ever reads.” The world is watching and listening. Show them Jesus by what you do. Tell them the gospel in what you say.
Prayer: Jesus, forgive me for making “noise” out of selfishness just so others notice me. Thank you for Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, which means I am a forgiven and dearly loved child of God. Help me to live quietly and humbly and gently—like Jesus—so others might know his love. Amen.