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1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

February 5, 2008 Leave a comment

In verses 11-12, Paul encourages the Thessalonian believers to “live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work hard” (v. 11).

I. Live quietly
1. Paul encourages Christians to live, not sit back passively
2. It doesn’t appear that Paul lacked influence. How did he himself live a quiet life? Maybe this means that he didn’t get into gossip or politics? But Paul and other Christians in the NT are frequently the focal points of controversy.
3. Living quietly must include a significant element of intent. If doing the right thing leads to noise and mobs, then that’s OK (cf. Peter and John in Acts 4).
4. Doing the right thing quietly makes a greater impact than doing the wrong things for selfish reasons (cf. this article about misappropriated funds in Greece, NY, public schools).
5. How can I do the right thing in the face of others doing the wrong thing? Do I really believe what I wrote in #4?
6. A key is to pray for strength whenever faced with sin and a temptation to lash back.

II. Mind your own business
1. I have a very hard time with this issue
2. It is important that I only act when called upon. This means that when people speak ill of my God and my family and my work, I have a responsibility to shine the light of truth upon the situation. This also means that if the criticism is valid, I must accept it and work to change things!

III. Work hard
1. I have a very hard time with this issue
2. This doesn’t just mean to work hard at church or in religious matters. I must also work hard in my job and within my family.
3. How does this relate to, for instance, the Avis “We Try Harder” campaign? The idea is not just to work more hours, but to focus those hours on accomplishing significant outcomes.
4. Can I accomplish significant outcomes as a math teacher? Sometimes I feel like the content of my job prevents me from making a long-term difference.

One thing I need to wrestle with in prayer is how my profession allows me to make a positive long-term difference in students’ and adults’ lives.

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Categories: bible
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