How Can You Live in Freedom and Health?

1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12 – But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Not only are Christians called to live a countercultural life sexually, they are called to do the same in every area of life “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (4:7). 

Holiness means set apart, distinct, belonging to God who is holy. A Bible Dictionary says, “The biblical concept of ‘holiness’ is grounded in the idea of being set apart and transcendently distinctive. When the Bible claims that God is holy, it means primarily that he is radically distinctive in sphere, in character, and in requirements…As a quality or attribute of God, the term also carries the sense of ‘morally good’ and ‘ethically pure.’” (1)

Paul encourages believers to “love” in a world filled with hate (4:9), “live quietly” in a world filled with conflict (4:11), “mind your own affairs” in a world filled with gossip and busy bodying (especially online) (4:11), “and to work with your hands” instead of being entitled and a burden to others expecting them to pay your bills and provide for your needs (4:11). The goal of Christians and their churches is to “walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (4:12). 

If we are dependent on God, and care for one another as God’s church family, the results will be freedom and health. We will be free to live our lives as God instructs, and healthy because we are not following the same self-destructive patterns in the greater culture that lead to what is skyrocketing addiction, depression, brokenness, mental health, debt, and hopelessness. 

If we live as God’s countercultural people, the goal is not to look down on lost people who do not yet know Jesus, but to invite them into our homes, lives, and churches to see that there is a better and healthier way of life that is made possible only by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. 

What do you do or believe that’s countercultural in today’s world? 

  1. Hon-Lee Kwok, “Holiness,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

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