Minding My Own Affairs
In 1 Thess. 4:11-12, Paul exhorts the Church at Thessolonica to aspire to live quietly. As part of that instruction, he encourages them to mind their own affairs. It's not so easy in the internet age. Temptations are everywhere. Blog posts and Facebook statuses invite me into the lives of others, feeding the voyeur within me.
But how much do I need to know? Is there any benefit in having such a wealth of information about mere acquaintances - their thoughts, their travels, their menus? Status reports and tweets can overwhelm me, stealing valuable time I have to invest in genuine relationships and luring me away from my responsibilities. One big lie of social media is that if we miss something, we miss something. My world won't shatter if I don't read every detailed status report, insightful link, or witty tweet.
Part of a rich, quiet life means that I must properly mind my own affairs by:
Prioritizing my involvement in the lives of those around me. I have many friends and acquaintances, but I limit my close relationships. I cannot effectively minister to a large number of people. I am able to maintain fellowship with and pray for a few whom God has knit to my heart. When presented with opportunities to serve others, I try to be realistic. I can only do so much and still meet my other responsibilities.
Realizing how trivial some things are. I need to remember to look at everything through the lens of eternity. As a believer in Christ, I should have no room in my life for drama, whether played out "live" or online. Celebrity break-ups and neighborhood gossip should be meaningless to me. The same goes for the latest Facebook or Twitter fracas.
Giving up my need to interject my opinion. I will not always agree with everyone. In certain situations, there is a time and place to make that known. Most of the time my opinion doesn't matter; offering it only feeds the frenzy.
Focusing on the works God has planned for me. I'm certain the Proverbs 31 woman was so busy with her own responsibilities that she didn't have time to worry about what other people were doing.
I see a quiet, productive life as a protection from the Lord. Women, in particular, are vulnerable to being led astray by gossips and drama (see 2 Timothy 3:1-7). Indeed, feasting on the sins of others isn't new (Hosea 4:8). It is akin to eating junk food three times a day; it doesn't satisfy and it causes irrepressible cravings for more. Feasting on the Bread of Life leaves us full, gives us energy and focus to attend to our work.