WISE WORDS FOR CURRENT CONDITIONS! The world around us is in chaos yet society brags about this generation being the best educated, wealthiest, smartest, most traveled, and healthiest generation that has ever lived. If this generation is so great why does chaos rein and why is civilization so fractured? Why can’t people live together in peace and harmony in a country so richly blessed by God in so many ways? The Apostle Paul had some wise words that would help this generation if people would just follow them. This is what Paul said, “Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and 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 4:9-12 NIV).
Paul said we should LOVE each other. Instead of being selfish, self-centered people and each group of people desiring the fulfillment of their own self-interest why can’t we demonstrate love for each other and serve each other? Certainly we can’t practice too much love toward each other. The second word of advice Paul would give us is this: instead of breeding chaos and noise each person should mind their own business and “lead a quiet life.” Social media has certainly led our society to become a world of “busy bodies” injecting themselves into other people’s business. “Busy bodies” have grown from the few to the many and it involves everything and everybody from the government, to family members, to neighbors, to strangers, to social media, you name it. Oh, for the quiet life!
Paul also had some advice on work. He said, “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.” God intended that people, under normal circumstances, should work and not be dependent on other people to provide for them. In our society today there are far too many lazy people who refuse to work and expect others to provide for them and there are far too many people “working the system” to defraud the generosity of our nation’s citizens. Christians should make sure they don’t fall into this category and our government should “root out” those who do. The final thing Paul said in this passage is something that is too often missing in our society today. RESPECT of others seems not to be taught by the majority of society today. It doesn’t appear to be taught in our educational institutions from pre-school to post-secondary institutions nor does respect appear to be taught by many regarding our elders, law enforcement, the military, spiritual leaders or even our nation’s flag. But let us as Christians live our daily lives so that “your daily life may win the respect of outsiders.” Just maybe we can be instruments of love and examples of quiet dignity taking care of our own affairs and not meddling in the affairs of others. Also, I pray each of us will be hard workers providing good examples to others and may we be respectful of other people regardless of who they are or their position or circumstances in life.