Opposite Day

I have read before that the English language is one of the most difficult Western languages to master. A conglomeration of rules and vocabulary from dozens of ancient languages, English can be confusing even to someone who's inhabited an English-speaking country all their life. The upside is the boundless entertainment our confounding language has in the attempts of my sweet preschoolers to master it. They report me details such as:
  • Mommy, I readed that book
  • Mommy, Hannah learned me how to ride my bike
  • Mommy, I wented up stairs

I am probably less diligent in my corrections than I should be. Having two older children, though, I know they won't go to kindergarten...okay leave kindergarten saying readed. My basic advice to them or anyone on learning English is, "The rule is probably the opposite of what you think it is."

Today I am reading 1 Thessalonians 4. Paul spends this chapter instructing the Thessalonians in how to live a life that looks increasingly like Christ while waiting with great anticipation for the fulfillment of all God promises His children. In this section, he describes what the ambition should be of every Christian. Get ready because it's opposite day.

Make it your ambition to:

  1. Lead a quiet life (Verse 11) - A quiet life of gentle satisfaction is what our grandparents led. My generation has been instructed to get the most out of life, to leave no prisoners and to climb the highest possible mountain. This is a far cry from the contentment found in a quiet life.
  2. Mind your own business (Verse 11) - Nosy neighbors have gone the way of the black and white television. Many times today we don't even know our neighbors anymore so minding my own business is a slam dunk. The question is am I ignoring real needs or meddling? It is meddling that is to be avoided according to Peter (1 Peter 4:15). Jesus himself taught us that we are to see neighbors who are in need and rush to their aid (Luke 10:25-37).
  3. Work with your hands (Verse 11) - College, appliances and assembly lines were all created so we could avoid working with our hands. Let me be clear. I am not opposed to modern convenience nor am I discouraging my children from attending college but there is real validity that our country has moved from a nation founded on hard work to one floundering with a work force proudly displaying their "I'd rather be _______" bumper stickers. All hard work leads to profit, but mere talk leads to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23) God's economy is one is which each person works hard and provides for his own family.

Paul goes on in verse 12 to tell us our reward for living this kind of life. "...Your daily life may win the respect of outsiders." In other words, the best evangelism plan is one in which a church is filled with members that kindly and respectfully demonstrate a life of hard work and dedication. The gospel is best read on the pages of each of our lives.

Jesus, I want my life to be an open book where a lost and dying world can read of Your love and grace. I want my life's ambition to be Your ambition for me - a quiet, non-meddling life earmarked by hard work. Today may the pages of my life honor Your way of doing things.

1 comment:

  1. Oh your right. I like the part about hard work. You say career, people scream COLLEGE! I have nothing against college and will probaly get my associates soon. But one we thing we have forgotten is hard work.
    1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth.
    We are a proud people, because we talk a lot and do nothing. May God help us on our feet and work again! Nice Post Shannon


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