~1 Thess. 4:11-12
After Paul exhorts the Church at Thessolonica to aspire to live quietly, he encourages them to mind their own affairs. It's not so easy in the internet age. Temptations are everywhere. I confess how I have fallen to them. Blog posts and Facebook statuses invite us into the lives of others, feeding the voyeur within us.
Lately I've been wondering, how much do I need to know? How much benefit is there in knowing so much about mere acquaintances - their thoughts, the adorable things their children say or do, the places they're going, the foods they're eating, the cute shoes they'd like to buy. It's overwhelming and takes away from the time I have to invest in genuine relationships.
Part of a rich, quiet life means that I must properly mind my own affairs by:
prioritizing my involvement in the lives of those around me. I have many friends and acquaintances, but I limit my close relationships. I cannot expect to effectively minister to a large number of people. I am much better at keeping up with and praying for a few whom God has knit to my heart. When presented with opportunities to serve others, I try to be realistic. I can only do so much and still meet my other responsibilities.
realizing how trivial some things are. I need to remember to look at everything through the lens of eternity. As a believer in Christ, I should have no room in my life for drama - whether played out "live" or online. Celebrity break-ups and neighborhood gossip should be meaningless to me.
giving up my need to interject my opinion. I will not always agree with everyone. In certain situations, there is a time and place to make that known. Most of the time, my opinion doesn't (or shouldn't) matter. It only adds to the noise.
focusing on the works God has planned for me. As a wife, mother, friend, and member of a local church, I have more than enough to keep me occupied. The Proverbs 31 woman was so busy with her own responsibilities that she probably didn't have time to worry about what other people were doing. Maybe that's God's way of protecting us females from sticking their noses in other people's business!
As I've pondered reducing noise, carefully choosing commitments, and minding my own affairs, I've realized a quiet life has great benefits. I'll be sharing those soon, so stay tuned...