Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to 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 4:11-12 (NIV)
You didn’t ever expect to hear me say that did you? What’s that? Mind your own business. Yes, that does sound a little strange to hear you say that I need to mind my own business. Let me ask you a question. Go right ahead. How has it worked out when you have stuck your nose into other people’s business? I’m not sure how to answer that question. Well, have people welcomed you into their lives for you to offer your opinions regarding something that was clearly their business? No, they haven’t done that. Have you gotten a pretty strong and negative response whenever you have inserted yourself into the business of others? Yes, I have. Will you ever be able to lead a quiet and peaceful life if you don’t mind your own business? No, I wont. So, what is strange about what I am saying to you? I thought you wanted me to be involved in the lives of other people.
Yes, I want you to be involved in the lives of other people. Are you thinking that you have a choice of either inserting yourself into other people’s business or becoming completely uninvolved in other people’s lives? Maybe. That’s why you thought my saying; “mind your own business” was strange? Yes, it was. Saying, “mind your own business” is not the same as saying, “keep to yourself”. I would never tell you to, “keep to yourself.” That’s what I thought.
How do you think I want you to be involved in the lives of other people? I’m sure that you want me to live my life in a way that is an example to them. How so? You want me to work hard in the work that you have given me to do for you. You don’t want me to be idle and lazy. No, I do not. You want me to work hard in my job so that I can provide for the needs of my family. Yes, I do.
There are many other ways that I want you to live your life as an example to others. What are they? We will talk much more about that in the future. But, what do you think will happen when you live your life as an example to others? I will earn their respect. Yes, you will and what else? They might ask me for help. There is no might about that. You can be certain that when you earn others respect they will come to you and ask you for help. Then you will not be sticking your nose into other people’s business because they will have asked you for help. What will I do then? Then you will do whatever I have given you the opportunity to do for them. At that time and in those moments ask for my help. Will you do that? Yes Lord, I will. Then, I will show you how you can serve the people whose respect you have won by being my example and witness to them.
Lord, thank you for giving me work to do. I will mind my own business and quietly and peacefully work hard at the work you have given to me. Use my hard work as a witness for you so I will be able to win the respect of others. Amen
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