We live in an attention-seeking age. That’s true not only in the wider culture, but even inside the Christian church, as we’re told that as Christians, we should make a giant visible impact for the Kingdom of God.
But what about someone who leads a quiet life, serving the Lord behind the scenes with actions that don’t get widely known or garner much attention and are quite outside the spotlight?
Today, I applaud out-of-the-spotlight people. I’m reminded of a memorial service at my old church. The honoree was a quiet and unassuming man who did not stand out in the public worship service. But at the memorial, person after person came up to testify about the loving deeds he had done in the name of Jesus that no one knew about.
Consider these words from the Apostle Paul:
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders. (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12a)
Could it be that loving God’s family more and more is more important than flashiness? How far this is from a “whatever works” mentality —- the philosophy that given the right techniques and programs, your church will look successful and your attendance will skyrocket?
One more thought about this quiet life: so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders.
Suppose as a Christian I am known for loud, angry outrage at all that’s wrong in society and show myself to be a nasty troll on social media. Instead of loving, I become a spewing volcano of invective. Someone says, ‘If that’s what Christians are, I want no part of it.”
That may be giving someone an excuse to reject the truth of the gospel.
On the contrary, I’d like to live in a way such that someone might say “I don’t believe what that guy is saying about Jesus, but at least the way he lives is consistent with what he is preaching.”
Why be an unnecessary obstacle? I’d rather have them wrestle with the real reasons they don’t want to believe…….than be able to use me as an excuse for not believing!