Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
What great advice! Paul’s instructions here need little amplification from me or anyone else, but I might just add this…
Leading quiet lives is out of fashion these days with tweets, texts and people sounding off all the time. I used to tell my kids that their friends don’t need to know about every little thought that passes their consciousness. Of course teenagers tend to think their parents don’t know anything and they texted or posted or spoke frequently, and frequently got a face full in return… Hardly an example of leading a quiet life.
Back in Paul’s time, working with your hands would refer to someone who was self-supporting and not dependant on others. It didn’t mean that they work in a factory as opposed to an office, for neither existed at the time.
Most importantly, the result of his instruction is that we maintain a good reputation in the community so that we reflect well on the Gospel we preach. Boy, does this ever apply to us!
Living in this way allows us to focus our attention where it needs to be focused; on our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our hope, not this world. He is the center of our beings, not gossip and social media. He is the reason we are on this planet, not making millions. It is this understanding that is step one to a peaceful and satisfying life.