1 Thess 4:11

4:11 aspire. The Greek word for this term often denoted the attempt to garner civic honor and recognition through outward displays of generosity by the wealthy. Paul’s use of the term turns it on its head: the Thessalonians should be zealous for the honor that comes not through self-assertion or an ostentatious show of personal greatness, but through humble, industrious, and unimpeachable behavior. This exhortation, pertinent to all Christians, had a particular urgency in Thessalonica where the Christians had already been falsely accused of sedition (Acts 17:6–9). By living lives that were respectable and unpretentious, the Christians were to allay any lingering suspicions.