Quiet Power

Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

Mind your own affairs. (v. 11)

The weeks leading up to an election bring a cacophony of noisy ads and boisterous declarations. Although Paul wrote verse 11 to the church of the Thessalonians, his words are also for us today “to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands.” Evidently, there were some believers in Thessalonica who had stopped working, lived off the abundance of others, and occupied their time with idle talking. They worked their tongues but rested their hands. For tentmaker Paul, who labored while he preached, this must have been troubling.

Paul connects brotherly love with a strong work ethic. He affirmed that they were already good at brotherly love and urged them to “do this more and more” (v. 10). The “more and more” comes in the form of quiet lives and hard work. How does a quiet life of hard work demonstrate love for others? Verse 12 gives us two reasons: First, faithful work witnesses to the watching world as people see the integrity of our diligent work. Second, faithful work shows love by not taking advantage of the generosity of others.

Sometimes Christians must speak up in the public square and engage civil society. And there are situations where people cannot work and need help. Yet the instruction of quiet work provides a reason for others to listen to our voice and the resources to help someone in need. This kind of love may be quiet, but it’s powerful. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask God to help you love more and more.

About the Author

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.