Aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you . . . 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Live out loud! Express yourself! Make a statement! Be bold! There is significant cultural encouragement for people to make themselves known and not shrink from view. You can see it in the way we dress, the color of our hair, and the art and piercings we may have applied to our bodies—we are encouraged to live loud and expressively.
Paul had a different idea for Christian living. Live quietly. Keep out of other people’s business. Work simply. I suspect that when we live large as a way of expressing ourselves and our individuality, that is when our personality begins to push other people to the side, and the space that could be reserved for God in our own lives gets cluttered with our own self-image. In a culture that says, “Live big and loud,” Paul might say, “Live smaller and quieter” as a way of being respectful to others and open to God.
How can you live more quietly?
Lord, I know that when issues of justice are at stake, we, as people of faith, must speak up and speak loudly so that Your will can be made known to the world. But most of the time, Lord, we would benefit from a more quiet way of life. Help me to claim a way of living that isn’t so large and loud that it serves as a barrier to my relationship with You and with those around me. Help me to embrace quietness and simplicity as a way of living more faithfully and fully. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.