It is that time of year when parents are sending their older kids off to college. Bags are packed, boxes labeled and room decorations are purchased. Soon it’s time for that sweet note from mom or dad to be tucked away so they can read it after they get settled.
The apostle Paul wrote an encouraging note like that. He was in Corinth and wrote back to his dear friends in the church at Thessalonica. In II Thessalonians chapter three, he wrote “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands…so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders.”
Recently that phrase, “so that your daily life may win the respect…” grabbed my attention. All of us who cherish our relationship with Christ, want to have a good testimony among our neighbors, fellow workers and friends. It matters to us what they think about our lives, especially the parts that reflect well on our Savior.
So, generally speaking, we are thoughtful about our behavior out in public. We consider the forms of entertainment that we enjoy. We watch our language. We “wear our Sunday best,” so to speak.
But what about our DAILY LIFE. Do those regular, run of the mill behaviors win the respect of outsiders? What is on display when we aren’t on our best behavior? If there were recorders in our living room and speakers on the porch, what would the neighbors hear?
If our entertainment choices were listed on a neon sign outside our front door, what would people conclude about our spiritual walk? Does our language on the shop floor match our tone in the pew on Sunday?
Would our family attest to our personal growth in Christ or report a bunch of starts and stops?
Biblical sanctification is meant to be a steady climb upward. It’s not without its challenges, but the arrow is supposed to be trending up, not languishing in mediocrity.
So, this week, let’s all consider our minds, hearts and behaviors to be open books for all to read. Let’s think hard about our DAILY LIFE and work to bring all those activities into conformity to the mind of Christ.
“…winning their respect!”