Almost two years ago, I made the decision to attend seminary graduate school. For me to graduate in the time I hoped for, my full time working status had to be cut. Fortunately, I had managers that allowed me to transition into part time status and begin my education.
Eventually, people started noticing my absence around the office. The inevitable question upon my return was always, “Where have you been”. I would answer, “In seminary”.
There isn’t really anything else to write after that because no one ever replied further. All of my co-workers virtually collapsed into an immediate state of perpetual shock and were unable to continue the conversations. Why was my involvement with seminary such a bombshell?
Day after day, I came into the office as if I had never been there before. Night after night, I would return home with an uncomfortable feeling of invisibility. No one seemed to know how to talk to me anymore; instead, everyone spoke about me. I couldn’t understand what was going on until months had passed, and there it was: No one at my office knew that I was a Christian. Ouch.
We read about Paul’s establishment of the Thessalonian church in Acts 17. During the writing of 1 Thessalonians, Paul had since left this church while Timothy remained behind. After receiving good news from Timothy in regards to the church’s development, Paul began his praise of the people.
1 Thessalonians 1: 7-8
“And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere” – NIV
Alright now, these new Christians had a faith that became known everywhere?! Well, isn’t that just spit-on-your-neck fantastic! My next-door-cube-mate had no idea that I was a believer, but the Thessalonians are jumping cities!
Luckily, in true God-fashion, Paul provides a little instruction book on how to become a city jumper as well:
• Avoid sexual immorality ( 1Thess. 4:3)
• Mind your own business (1 Thess. 4:11)
• Work with your hands (1Thess. 4:11)
• Have your daily life win the respect of outsiders (1 Thess. 4:12)
If only all areas of spiritual development came with a list.