This one made me chuckle while trolling for a picture to add for this mornings discussion. Since coming to faith almost 20 years ago I think that this has been one of my biggest struggles. Being the life of the party.
I myself am a type A kind of guy and I really like it when I am noticed and when I am known. Walking into a room and bringing that energy that excites and lifts up a room. I enjoyed knowing a lot a people and walking into a random place in a random town and nothing someone. Being the life of the party was what I was good at, I guess I think it is still what I am good at.
Paul however really got me with this one – 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
A Brotherly and Orderly Life
9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
Paul is trying to teach me more about growing in Godliness. He is teaching me that being the life of the party may not be the best example of Godliness. That living a quiet and peaceful life, and that Godliness has a reputation with the unbelievers in my circle of life. People that we come into contact with everyday watch us very closely.
As I am working through this I am struck by the fact that just this week I am going to be attending a three-day long (and some evenings) mandatory meeting with my co-workers. Other than a general knowledge of God and I think that there are less than half of us that any kind of faith in God and Jesus. That said, I really have not had any kind of in-depth conversation with any of them and while I have shared tidbits of things that would suggest to them that I follow a Holy and Loving God. Based on what Paul is trying to teach me here, my conduct is saying more to them what my tidbits could ever say.
This one is hard for me to reconcile with my own prideful feelings and desires. A wise women once said to me “that we learn more from what we see that from what we hear”.
The second part of that growing Godliness is to mind your own business. We, (well I know I do for sure) tend to want to talk about other people’s issues and problems and through this we are comparing ourselves to them. In some case this is to make ourselves feel better about the life we are leading. You know – “I am not as bad as that person…”. This is one is difficult, as we start to compare ourselves to the other boats in the water, we tend to lose sight of how far from the shore of Godliness we have drifted.
Father in Heaven I pray for each of us that we would understand the power or our conduct and how living a quiet life, without gossip and as we work hard that the love of God can be revealed through our Godly conduct more so that our words. Help us today to keep our eyes on You and not the other boats in the water.