July 25, 2012

Living Quietly: Minding My Own Affairs

..aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
~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...


Lisa Spence said...

Wise words, here. I taught 1&2 Thess last spring and that very passage has echoed in my mind ever since. How I long for a quiet life that recommends and adorns the gospel!

Becky said...

Very convicting. I appreciate this series, Melissa. Thank you.

Carrie said...

I shall look forward to your continued thoughts!

This past weekend we had some friends come into town and the wife and I spent a lot of time talking. I have no idea what she took away from our conversations, really, but one thing that struck me was that I was (once again!) spending too much time on Facebook. So I'm putting it in the back seat a bit. (It's probably inbetween the seats at the moment.) I may be on there. I scroll through to stay tuned on my friend's lives (because I do like knowing what delights them) but I'm spending more time off there than on and I'm finding that I'm accomplishing a GREAT deal more in areas that I care about (and have a great responsibility).

I'm not going to NIX Facebook or anything, because it is a pleasure to connect with friends, however one may, but perhaps just not log on expecting great depth or what have you. It's a place to chat for a sec - take away a laugh or a smile -and then move on.

Jessica Kramasz said...

Very wise words. Thank you for sharing this, its a very timely reminder that most of us probably need to read.

jenmom said...

Thank you for sharing these insights...you've given me much to think about!