There are a number of verses in the Bible that command us to lead a quiet life, to provide for ourselves and to mind our own business. I Thes 4:11 encourages a Christian to lead a quiet life, to mind their own business, and to work with their own hands. II Thes 3:12 commands a Christian to work with quietness and eat their own bread. I Peter 3:4 notes that a meek and quiet spirit is of great value in the sight of God.
These verses contrast…in many ways with our current culture with all of its voyeuristic television shows and magazine articles, excessive welfare entitlements and loud persons protesting for their “rights”. Christians are called to a higher standard and need to avoid being busybodies – only showing an appropriate interest in a person’s business as is required to be kind to them and love them. Excessive interest in other person’s business, including deriving pleasure from gossiping about them, is wrong and we need to instead pay attention to our own life and walk with God.
Further, we are to work with our own hands to provide for ourselves. While our obligation to the poor and needy is sure we are not to help persons who can provide for themselves. II Thes 3:10 commands that if anyone isn’t willing to work, they should not eat. We should not support able-bodied persons who refuse to work but insist that they work with their own hands to provide for themselves to the extent that they are capable. This is what is best for them in the long run as Prov 21:25 instructs us that a lazy person’s craving will ruin them because their hands refuse to work. The “Bible Believer’s Commentary” by William MacDonald puts it this way – “The lazy man is torn apart between his craving for riches on the one hand, and his determination not to exert himself on the other.” We are doing these persons no good by enabling them to avoid work by supporting them when they can provide for themselves.