Together in Christ: 'Busy as Good Examples, Not as Busybodies!' — 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Friday, March 8, 2024

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Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

— 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NLT

Key Thought

As Jesus' followers, we want to live exemplary lives that bless others and glorify God. [1] We must do our best to be good examples trying to live in peace with all people. [2] We want to win the respect of others as we use the Golden Rule in our relationships. [3] God wants us to be busy doing good deeds, not being busybodies who unsettle others and stir up conflicts. [4]

In this series, we have spent most of the first two months focusing our devotionals on relationships in our marriages, families, and churches. However, we must never forget that God wants us to influence unbelievers lovingly. We always want to be ready to share our hope in Jesus as we treat unbelievers "in a gentle and respectful way." [5] We should bless and intercede for our lost friends as we demonstrate and proclaim God's goodness and grace. [6] We want to use our good influence to make disciples and help others learn to live obediently in God's grace. [7]

To help me live this way, I keep a mental note (and often a physical list of names) of unbelievers I frequently meet. I choose five to pray for each day, asking for help to recognize my opportunities to share my hope in Jesus with them. I seek to be aware of my interactions with waitpersons, clerks, delivery people, shop owners, and salespeople, praying to build genuine relationships. Simple kindnesses, notes of appreciation, generous tips, and other simple acts of intentional Christian graciousness have opened doors for me to share my hope in Jesus and lead people to give their lives to Him. God wants us to know that our relationships with unbelievers are opportunities we shouldn't waste!

[1] Matthew 5:14-16; Colossians 4:5-6; 1 Peter 2:9-11.
[2] Colossians 3:15; Romans 12:17-18.
[3] Matthew 7:12; Romans 12:18, 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
[4] 2 Thessalonians 3:11 NIV; 1 Timothy 5:13 NIV.
[5] 1 Peter 3:15-16.
[6] 1 Peter 2:9-11 — Also see this resource for more explanation of our role in 1 Peter 2:1-11 as God's priests to the lost.
[7] This is called "The Great Commission" and is found in Matthew 28:18-20.

Today's Prayer

O, Father, help me see the opportunities you give me today, and each day, to touch someone with Your grace in the name of Jesus. Holy Spirit, please infuse me with genuine kindness, gentleness, awareness, and respect for these precious people You have placed in my path. I ask to be salt and light for the good of those around me caught in decay and darkness. I pray this through the intercession and grace of Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Peter 2:1-18, 3:13-17
  • Matthew 5:13-16, 38-48, 7:12

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Illustration

Illustration of 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NLT — Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.