Walk in Honesty
1 Thess. 4:11-12
We have just how the Apostle Paul exhort the Thessalonian believers to love. In deed we have to love one another but we also have to love the unsaved. It’s a command from the Lord Jesus Christ which we have to obey. There’s another thing which Paul thru the inspiration of the Holy Spirit would want us to do. That is to walk Honestly.
Illustration 1: The Briefcase
Last winter, a lowly-paid waiter in a major city found a briefcase containing cash and negotiables in a parking lot—and no owner in sight. No one saw the waiter find it and put it in his car in the wee hours of the morning. But for the waiter, there was never any question of what to do. He took the briefcase home, opened it, and searched for the owner’s identity. The next day he made a few phone calls, located the distressed owner, and returned the briefcase—along with the $25,000 cash it contained!
The surprising thing about this episode was the ridicule the waiter experienced at the hands of his friends and peers. For the next week or so he was called a variety of names and laughed at, all because he possessed a quality the Bible holds in high regard: integrity.
Today in the Word, July, 1989, p. 18
I. Live a quiet life (1 Thess. 4:11a)
A. The word study comes from a word that carries the idea of being eager or earnest to do something… to labour, or to strive. It has the sense of being ambitious and strongly determined about something. The Thessalonians were to make every effort to pursue a quiet and peaceful life. To live peaceably in their own families, and to give no disturbance to other families, by gossiping, whispering, and backbiting; to behave with quietness in the neighbourhood, town, or city, they dwell in, and to seek the peace thereof; and to lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. They are not to create and encourage factions, divisions, animosities, and contentions, in their own church, or in the community which they live.
Illustration 2: Getting Along
Mark Twain used to say he put a dog and a cat in a cage together as an experiment, to see if they could get along. They did, so he put in a bird, pig and goat. They, too, got along fine after a few adjustments. Then he put in a Baptist, Presbyterian, and Catholic; soon there was not a living thing left.
Phillip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace, Zondervan, 1997, p. 33
II. Mind your own business (1 Thess. 4:11b)
A. To attend to their own concerns, without interfering with the affairs of others. It is one of the beautiful rules in Christianity, to promote the good order and the happiness of society. It would prevent the disrespectful and unauthorized interfering into the affairs of others. Idle people spend their time interfering with the affairs of others and getting themselves and others into trouble.
B. Believers do not have the time – or desire – to meddle in the affairs of others. Unfortunately, even a Christian fellowship, or a prayer meeting could become an opportunity for gossip (“so that you night pray more in details”) and a substitute for true Christian service.
III. Work with your own hands (1 Thess. 4:11c)
A. The word “work” is mentioned 420 times in the word of God. God takes work seriously. There are several good reasons why Christians should work not the least of which is to provide for their own families (1 Tim. 5:8). If unsaved people have to work to pay their bills, why should Christians be exempt? We also work in order to be able to give to those who have need (Eph. 4:28); but “if any would not, work, neither should he eat” (2 Thess. 3:10). Work is not a curse; it is a blessing. God gave Adam work to do in Paradise. It is the toil and sweat of work that belongs to the curse, and not the work itself (Gen. 2:15 and 3:17 ff).
B. As we commanded you (1 Thess. 4:11d). The command of an apostle carries weight and authority with it, and ought to be obeyed. Paul and his associates practiced what they preached and set an example for the Thessalonian believers.
IV. Walk honestly (1 Thess. 4:12)
A. That ye may walk honestly,… Decently, in good reputation, providing things honest in the sight of all men, for themselves and families. If our walk is not honest in the sight of the world, our profession of salvation is worth very little to the Lord.
B. Toward them that are without: These are the non-Christians, the men of the world, who sees us and observes us how we live and conduct ourselves.
C. That ye may have lack of nothing – that the believer may be able to support and supply all the needs of his family and that he may be able to help those people who are in need.
Illustration 3: Old Ledger
The first governor-general of Australia was a man by the name of Lord Hopetoun. One of his most cherished possessions was a 300- year-old ledger he had inherited from John Hope, one of his ancestors. Hope had owned a business in Edinburgh, where he first used this old ledger. When Lord Hopetoun received it, he noticed that it had inscribed on its front page this prayer, “O Lord, keep me and this book honest!” Source unknown
With determination and dependence on the Lord, we are to live a quiet life, mind our own business, work with our own hands, and walk honestly. We do this so the outside world will see how we live and that the Christ will bless us so we may lack nothing.