Is it Really So Hard to Be Humble?

Discussion Guide for 1 Thessalonians

Have you patted yourself on the back for being so amazingly selfless? What does God’s word have to say about humble living?

9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

One of the major themes throughout the letter to the Thessalonians is love for the brothers. Our love for one another is the true sign of Christian faith. It is interesting that Paul uses two different Greek words for love in verse 9. The message he is sending is that the love we are taught by God is greater than the love we have for each other. God’s love actually teaches us how we ought to love each other.

When we see people living in such a way that they are not being guided by love for one another, we can often trace the lack of love back to a root sin of pride. The love of God causes genuine humility in the heart of a believer. What Paul does in this section of 1 Thessalonians is give us a firm description of what a humble life should look like.

  1. It focuses on loving others
  2. It is not impressed with the performance of self
  3. It is not being a busybody
  4. It works to not burden other people

Discussion Questions

  • Describe a time when you thought you were doing a good job at loving others until God showed you that you weren’t.
  • What are some obvious ways that you believe your love can grow?
  • Does pride ultimately receive the recognition it seeks?
  • How can you recognize a genuinely humble person?
  • Why do you think humility is so deeply connected to the concept of love?
  • Do you think our world connects work with love (vv. 11-12)?
  • How can we honor people who “mind their own affairs?”

Prayer Time

Pray for one another to have eyes to see the godliness in “quiet” and humble living. Pray especially for brothers around the world who face persecution to have their love recognized by those who might persecute them.

Related Message: Humble Living

Jonathan Pugh
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