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Mind your own business

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Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

When Paul said, “Make it your goal,” he meant that this is what you as a Christian are to focus on, this is what you are to strive for: to live an uneventful life, to keep busy with gainful employment, and stay out of trouble.

This sounds a lot like what many Christians are already doing—working unobtrusively at a nine-to-five job. It might not seem like a goal worth striving for. Wouldn’t it be much more exciting to travel from city to city like Paul, preaching the Gospel full-time, stirring up the crowds, causing citywide riots in the amphitheater, getting beaten up, and so on?

Exciting? Yes. But remember, Paul never went looking for such thrills and spills. He was happier to quietly stick to a schedule, teaching disciples day after day at Tyrannus’s school in Ephesus, faithfully instructing church leaders, and working in silence for long hours, sewing tents.

There is much to be said in favor of holding down a steady job, year after year, humdrum and unexciting as it might seem. God is in just such faithful obscurity.

This is an ideal state for Christians to live in: “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened…Encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers” (Acts 9:31)
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