BRP Insight Post for Week of June 25, 2019
As I was reading through 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, there was one word that jumped out at me….ambition! Webster’s dictionary defines ambition as “a strong desire to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” An ambitious person has goals, objectives, plans, desires, wishes, targets and dreams. Everyone has ambitions! What are your ambitions? What do you have a strong desire to achieve? Stop and take a moment to identify a few of your ambitions. If you have kids, what are your goals, targets, and dreams for them? What does a successful life look like? In a letter to the Thessalonians, Paul urged the followers of Christ to adopt a new ambition for their lives. “Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters…..to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and 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.”(11-12) I don’t know about you, but “leading a quiet life” never made it onto my list of life goals. Many of us are driving ourselves pretty hard. In turn, we are driving our children right along with us. Do our ambitions reflect God’s desires or the cultures values? We worry about things like education and life experiences. We tend to focus on career paths that make more money or earn more esteem. We continually remind our kids of the importance of hard work and discipline. We spend a lot of time evaluating how our kids, and we as parents, stack up against our peers. How could our lives change if we were able to actually grasp what a quiet life looks like? I don’t know about you, but this seems a little more doable than some of the other things on my list. How much could our quality of life increase if we were able to live with a calm, quiet mind? How much would it be worth to live each day with a deep sense of peace and quiet in our souls? Paul says that a quiet life can be found in things like minding our own business and working with our hands. The more we focus on the lives of others and play the comparison game, the more upset and discontent we become. We should spend most of our time evaluating and working on the one person we can change…ourselves! “First get rid of the log in your own eye: then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5) We have an enemy that loves division, dissention and gossip. He wants to keep us distracted and filled with anything but peace and quiet. Why? Because a distracted life isn’t able to see what is really important. We were designed first and foremost for a relationship with our creator. If we aren’t careful with our goals, we can spent our lives chasing after the wrong things. God wants us to make it our ambition to lead a quiet life!
Director of Small Group & Lay Counseling Ministries