Live Quiet, Mind Your Biz, Work Hard

There’s this wonderful little verse tucked in the middle of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the churches in Thessalonica:

[A]spire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Paul likely wrote this letter around 52AD, but it feels more relevant and important to me now. Between always-on social media, the 24/7 news cycle, tech culture’s hustle ethos, and the literal tiny hell rectangles in everyone’s pocket, aspiring to live quietly, keep to yourself, and focus on working with what’s in front of you sounds downright quaint. And simultaneously revolutionary.

The second part of Paul’s exhortation is more practical:

…so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

1 Thessalonians 4:12

I turn 40 this year, and I have two young kids, so I’m all kinds of introspective lately. The uncomfortable but necessary process of relentless self-inventory means I’m well-acquainted with my shortcomings and patterns. The two primary areas of my life I want to realize improvement in this year are my reputation (specifically my dependability at home and at work) and our financial health (specifically becoming debt-free). 

There’s a hope I see in Paul’s words that quietly living this counter-cultural, focused lifestyle can help me build two things: a good name and independence. I can’t think of better things right now to aspire to, or better examples to model for my family.

So here’s to 2019 — quieter, more focused, and inconspicuously producing thoughtful, helpful work, in hopes of building a good name and a good financial foundation for the future. 

May 2019 bring your aspirations to fruition, too.