Pristine Grace

1 Th 4: 9 & 11 and Coming Alongside!
by Eileen Beckett
1 Th 4: 9 & 11 and Coming Alongside!

“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another”

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

We had such a wonderful bible study last night as we started the book of Colossians and went through the first chapter, such meaty truths there for us. I wish sometimes that we could do chapters at least twice in order to pull out all the richness.

We also had great fellowship after the study, talking about doctrines, church things, relationships etc. and I made the remark that I like to just zip my lip and be silent a lot of the time and was questioned as to why and if I could explain that. Well, in a short sentence or two I couldn’t, there isn’t a short answer to that. But as I thought about it, as I questioned my own words and my motives I did come to some conclusions for myself.

I think the scriptures above give us a good idea of ‘zipping my lip’ and trying to be quiet in the right way. We are actually told to study to be quiet, probably because that isn’t our nature to do that. It takes practice! What does that mean and look like to us and what doesn’t it mean? I think it means just what it says; we are to mind our own business and I often wonder how much controversy that would eliminate in every avenue of life, families, work and church. I don't do controversy well and so part of my desire to be silent is selfish as well, to avoid needless strife. This is what John Gill has to say about this scripture and he says it so well:

To live peaceably in their own families, and to give no disturbance to other families, by talebearing, 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,

and not to create and encourage factions, divisions, animosities, and contentions, in their own church, or in any of the churches of Christ; and it becomes saints to make this their study, to be very solicitous for it, to strive for it, and pursue after it: the word used signifies to be ambitious of it.

But what about what it doesn’t look like? It doesn’t look like I’m divorced from the cares of my family or my church family and that is the coming alongside. You see, that is what we are to do in brotherly love, to come along side to encourage, to lift up, to edify in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in His love for us and our love for one another. Oftentimes that includes rebuking one another in love but it never includes my minding your business.  

I love to come along side the brethren and give encouragement; we all need it in this vale of tears. We are to know each other well enough to also ‘see’ with our own eyes when someone is in need of support, prayer and the very Words of Life. We are to build up, not tear down and I long to do that in every relationship, amongst the saints especially.

Convicting words that cut straight to my own heart, to study to be quiet!