1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 - Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
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This verse definitely goes against the flow of our world today. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life - I mean, you can’t find that sentiment or thought anywhere in today’s push and drive. Today, it’s all about achieving, succeeding, building, and growing. Even in churches today, this will not fly.
There was a running joke among pastor meetings years ago. Whenever pastors of a certain denomination that I’m a part of got together, they would always ask each other how their church was going. Of course, everyone wanted to say things like, “We’ve added 200 people to the church this year,” or “We just completed construction on a new wing to the church.” But when a pastor didn’t have much to report, they would say something like, “Well, we’re growing and building.” You would never think to say something like, “Well, we’re minding our own business and leading a quiet life.”
Paul teaches about the power and effectiveness of a simple life before God. Ambitions of peace, contentment, and not being a busybody is something that we all could put on our 5 year plan. There is something beautiful about someone who is consistent in their faith, honest and loyal to their work, and faithful to their witness of a life well lived.
Maybe we should examine our ambitions today and make sure they are a proponent for a faithful witness and not selfish success.