“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” (1 Thess. 4:11)
Mark Twain once made the remark that he wasn't bothered nearly as much by the parts of the Bible he didn't understand, as he was by the ones he did. That's kind of the way I feel about this verse in First Thessalonians.
Paul’s admonition to “study to be quiet” seems especially appropriate in my case. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it takes every bit of concentration and will power I can muster to keep my mouth shut. As far as I’m concerned, “tongue temperance” is one sure mark of a disciplined life. I read something recently, attributed to John Andrew Holmes, that reminded me of this verse: "Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both." God didn't command us to study "prophecy," per se; but He did instruct us to "study to be quiet." That should tell us something about where the truly hard work is found.
Furthermore, if you and I can keep from sticking our noses into what isn’t our concern, it will go a long way toward pleasing family, friends…and God. No small achievement! I have come to the conclusion all these many years that most of the stress I experience in life comes from fretting about things that aren’t really my business in the first place. And it doesn’t take much of this kind of thing to make us dissatisfied with everything and everyone around us. Even God.
Trust me; this only gets worse with age, so the time to put the skids on it is yesterday. God has a reason for these (seemingly) mundane mandates. They’re the equivalent of taking care of a sore before it gets infected, or a better term might be, inflamed. God knows (truly), you and I have enough business of our own to take care of. We’d do well to stay out of everyone else’s.
Minding other people's business is bad business.