Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business
and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you
live, and you will not need to depend on others.”
(I Thessalonians 4:11-12)
Thoughts… In Paul’s day, some of the believers were so convinced that Jesus was going to come back at any moment that they simply quit life and waited. They quit showing up to work, they quit earning a living, they quit taking care of stuff around the house. Why bother? Jesus was coming back. So they just waited. And they became a burden for everybody else. Others had to do their work. Others had to provide food for them. Others had to take care of the things they were supposed to do.
We have words for people like that: Irresponsible, irritating, lazy. And they are terrible witnesses for Christ. I haven’t seen too many people in our day who have quit life and are just sitting around waiting for Jesus to return to rescue them from the daily chores of life. But I have seen a fair number of people who are terrible witnesses for Jesus. Not so much because they don’t give an adequate verbal witness—they talk a good game. They just don’t play it.
Their lives don’t match their language. Seekers can’t see Jesus because their lifestyle gets in the way of their language, their work ethic clouds their witness, their nosiness and noisiness is incongruent with their beliefs. They cut corners, do sloppy work, show up late, gossip—working as unto the Lord is not something that describes them. Sinners can’t see the purity, reverence, industriousness and excellence of their Christian faith simply because those Christ-like values are consistently missing from their actions.
Your life is a sermon. The question is, what is it preaching? Paul is saying that your life—your behavior, attitudes, words and world-view—at all times must generate respect for your Lord. People are watching you, and whatever they see in your life day in and day out paints a picture of your Jesus.
Hope you are painting a masterpiece!
Prayer… Lord, help me today to so live that when people look at me, they will see you, and be attracted.
One More Thing… “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” —St. Francis of Assisi