Private Victory First
"and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Paul commands the Thessalonians as such. We will break it down.
To aspire to live quietly...
If you're lucky, everyday life is quite mundane and boring. Everyday is the same thing over and over again. It gets repetitive, like a broken record. If this is your life, it's actually a good thing–you have stability. (or would you rather not...?)
Learn to live a drama-less life. Instead of focusing on the noise around you, be still and observe God in your life. It's much more peaceful that way.
To mind your own affairs...
Don't cause problems. Don't actively seek out trouble either. Even more so, take care of your own problems before attempting to fix problems for others. They may have a speck in their eye, but you have a plank in yours. (Matthew 7:5)
Specifically, achieve private victory first before chasing public victory. How can you take care of others if you cannot take care of yourself first?
To work with your hands...
If you are able, earn your own living. Those who are able and do not work do not deserve to eat. This phrase cautions against laziness or taking advantage of others' charity.
Charity exists for those who need it–and there indeed are people who truly require it.
But those of us who are able should contribute towards the community.
So that you may walk properly before outsiders...
This addresses to aspire to live quietly and to mind your own affairs. As Christians, we want to make sure we are responsible for ourselves before we become responsible for others. For why would an outsider want to be involved with those who are irresponsible?
[So that you may] be dependent on no one...
This addresses to work with your hands. If we are lazy and depend on the charity of others, that gives off the impression that the church needs more people. But that's not true.
We believe in the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ. It is completely enough to only depend on Christ and nobody else. Only by achieving such a state can we confidently go out and preach Christ's name.
Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.