When I was a child, and even into my teenage years, I remember hearing the phrase, “Be quiet and listen, you might learn something.” Needless to say, I have always been very eager to share my opinion, and still struggle with this today. I have a friend who I think could be a genius. When I am talking to him, he speaks very deliberately and chooses every word with great caution. To a person like me … well, let’s just say that I feel the need to help him out, and fill in the word I think he’s looking for. Usually when I do that, he simply replies, “No, that’s not what I was thinking.” I’ve come to realize that his vocabulary is far more expansive than mine, and my few choices do not do justice to the meaning he is looking for. I am trying to learn to be quiet. It’s tough for me.
I find that even when I am praying to my Heavenly Father, I can get into a rut of doing all the talking and as a result, doing very little listening. Before you start to worry about me, I will tell you that I have never heard an audible voice of God, but I can tell you that He has touched my heart while in prayer in some very specific ways. I know He has led me that way in the past, and I yearn for that same leading in the future. Look at what God told the church in Thessalonica: “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (I Thessalonians 4:11-12).
It is interesting to me that God starts by telling them to “study” to be quiet. That word has the idea of working hard, making it your aim. You see, God knows we tend to talk first, and then think second. God knows that this does not come naturally to us, but we will need to put some effort into it. He then instructs us to “do your own business.” My Mom always said, “Mind your own business.” I think it’s the same thing here. Don’t be so worried about what other people are doing today. Get quiet and focus on what God wants you to do! Do the work that He places in your hands to do. Don’t spend any time worrying about what others in the world are doing, or not doing; on what others in the church are doing, or not doing. You quietly do the work God has given you to do and He will take care of the details. We are encouraged simply to “walk honestly,” especially in regards to those who are not saved. This is great advice to us. Be quiet … mind your own business … work hard with your own hands … do all of this honestly before the unsaved. They will want what you have. They cannot be quiet, because they are not at peace. Show your relationship with God where you go today.