#DailyDevotion Living In Pursuit Of Honor
1 Thess. 49You don’t need anyone to write you about brotherly love, because God has taught you to love one another, 10and you are practicing it toward all the Christians all over Macedonia. 11But we urge you, my fellow Christians, grow more and more, do your best to live quietly, mind your own business, and work with your hands, as we ordered you to do, 12so that you live nobly with those who are not Christians – without needing anything.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Paul could say that about your particular congregation, that Paul need not say anything about brotherly love because you are practicing it towards all the Christians in state or country you live in, maybe even just the city you worship in? But such was the case of the Thessalonians that the love of God was so moving and working in them that Paul had no need to say too much on this subject to them. We should then look to them as an example for ourselves and learn to put the interest for others, particularly those in our congregation, but for outsiders as well, above our own interest; always looking to be of service not as a badge of pride or so that others notice and give us praise, but because we are genuinely concerned for their welfare. Such is the attitude of God in Christ Jesus who sent his son into the flesh to serve mankind, humbling himself to the point of death, even death on a cross to redeem us from the wrath to come.
Paul urges the Thessalonians to love honor and the things that bring honor. What does this look like? He tells them to live quietly, mind your own business and work with your hands. To live quietly is to not be trying to get everyone else’s attention. It certainly isn’t always raising a fuss about something. Just because you can complain doesn’t mean you necessarily should. Mind your own business. Now the world would be a bit of a better place if we all could do that. This is the negative aspect of looking to the interest of others. When we aren’t minding our own business we are injecting ourselves into other people’s affairs trying to run their lives. When we are looking into the interest of others we are asking them how we can help. When we are minding our own business we are not publicizing what’s going on with other people. If we have juicy gossip we keep it to ourselves.
Paul calls us to work with our own hands so we live nobly before others without needing anything. Now he’s not saying you have to do manual labor. But with whatever talents, gifts and abilities God has given you do your best to have employment or be your own boss. It is shameful not to work and accept the charity of others if you are able to work. Only you can answer whether or not that is the case in your life at any particular moment. Christians should not have to ask for outside help, for our family, the Church, should help us get over and through tough times when they come and they do come sometimes. Shame on our congregations if we do not take care of our own. Where is the brotherly love Paul is talking about in these verses?
Our lives therefore to have others looking at us having them want the style of life we have and garnering their praise. It should attract them to our faith in Christ Jesus as it lives itself out in our lives. I think we may have some work to do. I know I do.
Heavenly Father, may your love so work in us that we become living examples of our love for us in Christ Jesus that people may know that we are his disciples as his love works his will out in our lives towards each other and those around us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.