11 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, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
These two verses form part of the second specific exhortation regarding Christian living (vv. 9-12). The first exhortation focused more on what not to do, ‘the negative’ i.e. dangers to avoid (vv.3-8) whereas this exhortation focuses on what to do ‘the positve’ i.e. cultivating a practice to love others (vv.9-12). And with this mindset to love others, Paul provides in verses 11 and 12, practical ways to cultivate such a kind of love towards others. The first is to live a quiet life. The word ‘quiet’ is best understood as ‘restful’ or ‘restfulness’ rather than quiet as opposed to talkativeness. The second counsel Paul gives it to mind one’s own business and the last advice he gives is to work with your hands. The third point relates to one’s daily work. Working with your hands demonstrates love for the brethren because a self-supporting person is not a burden to others. Through writing the third point Paul is also addressing the thought that a too restful life can also be a problem, hence it’s good to work with your hands. Work itself is a blessing, and working with one’s hands should never be despised by Christians.
May these two verses help us to love our brothers more, for such a life is pleasing to the Lord.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Wherever you are, take time to acknowledge God and trust in Him again. Give God your worries. Take a moment to give each thing you are worrying about back to God.