A Worthy Ambition

Sunday, October 25, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Thessalonians 4:11 This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before. 2 As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs.

Paul wrote these words to the believers at Thessalonica, which was a thriving, wealthy port city at that time. As with any big city, it was a place where one could cultivate a good or a bad reputation.

In this text, Paul counseled the Christians to do three things:

  1. Live a quiet life: This is a life lived faithfully, consistently and with integrity. Scandalous living attracts negative attention and casts a bad light on the church.
  2. Mind your own business: Spectators are criticizers. One day while watching a broadcast of a football game being played on a bitter cold day in Chicago, I expressed my displeasure at a receiver for not catching the football. Immediately, I remembered playing football on a cold day as a young man. I remembered how my hands felt stiff and painful. It's easy to criticize another, without considering his/her conditions. It is certain that we have enough unfinished business and unmet challenges to occupy us.
  3. Work with your hands: We should make the most of our God-given abilities and training. We should strive to do quality, original work. In our society, to many activities and businesses are based on taking advantage of the misfortune of others. A large part of the Wall Street collapse in 2008 had to do with people gambling with other people's money. We can all prosper the old fashioned way: By producing high quality goods and services.
The advice that Paul offered would garner both greater respect from non-Christians as well as put believers on a firm financial footing. I think we should take his advice today.