If you haven’t recently, you should take a look at 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. What a beautiful snippet of Scripture. What does Paul mean by a quiet life? The word he used literally means “to be still, be silent” and also appears as an adjective meaning “tranquil” (check it out). He then says to “mind your own business.” That’s pretty blunt! I can’t help but think of the hasty, self-promotional, get-what-you-want-and-as-much-of-it-as-you-can-hold values and the openly hostile, biting attitudes toward others (at least on social media) that dominate our culture.
Rather than leading a quiet life, we never rest. We work overtime. We say yes and yes and add more and more to our plate. We overstimulate ourselves, either with work or with entertainment or both. Rather than minding our own business, we hastily jump into social media arguments over every possible subject, usually with people we don’t even know, usually accomplishing nothing but amplified bitterness. And Christians can oftentimes be most conspicuous perpetrators.
I don’t have a formula to apply in order for us to change. But maybe we start by slowing down, by distancing ourselves from our to-do list and our phone for a moment, as well as our fears and anxieties, and in that space, just breathing as we consider Paul’s words. I don’t think he meant for us to become passionless beings, but there’s a concept there of healthy boundaries over one’s life that is always supervised by our love for each other (4:9-10). If this stirs anything in you, feel free to respond directly to this email – I’d love to hear your thoughts!
– Cameron Peters, Director of Communications