Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you (1Thess 4:11).
Midst hourly cares, may love present
Its incense to thy throne;
And while the world our hands employs,
Our hearts be thine alone.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” are Paul’s words to the Ephesian church (Ephesians 4:1). To most people, when vocation (calling, invitation) is explained, it is too often restricted to a specific calling of certain ministries. However, I am convinced that God calls individuals, outside the realm of the pulpit, classroom podium, lectern, etc., to minister to people that the preacher, teacher, lecturer, etc., will never reach.
While you may think this is a stretch from 1Thes 4:11, I contend that during the work that you do every day are golden opportunities to exemplify Christ. Disciplining one’s self to be quiet, and tend to one’s own business while working with one’s own hands can be an effective tool to be used by The Holy Spirit. There’s just something about a non-assuming person that tends to draw attention in a good way.
While a good many Christians do not equate secular work and ministry, sometimes it’s hard to grasp that there is, indeed, a connection. Age old teaching, and a principle of Scripture is that we live good, meaningful, Christian lives, not just on Sunday, but every day, in all that we do. I believe that is what 1Thes 4:11 is, essence, saying.
Another verse that comes to mind is Romans 12:1. The phrase “reasonable service” is better translated “spiritual act of worship.” Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice should be an every day, all day, occurrence, quietly, doing our own business, as we toil at our tasks for the day.