Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to 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.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
This is your one and only ambition, not just one of your many ambitions. Society encourages you to have a laundry list of seemingly impossible dreams, goals and ambitions. But, according to the scripture in 1 Thessalonians, you ought to have one ambition. Now it’s easy to assume that this ambition spoken of is to follow God with all your heart, but actually, this ambition guides you into how you should follow God. You should follow God with a quiet life, minding your own business, while working with your hands. This is how the Lord wants you to live your life. By living with these qualities on the forefront of all you do, you’re shedding unnecessary distractions, helping to maintain focus on the Lord, which allows Him space to unveil His ways to you throughout the day. His ways aren’t just living a righteous life, full of integrity and truth telling. Yes, those are all very important and relevant, but His ways can also mean that He’s willing to guide you to what He wants you to do in every moment freeing you to serve and glorify Him while expanding His kingdom. It’s working through life with one purpose – to pursue God. In that purpose, you’ll discover all kinds of ways to seek Him. You do not have many ambitions, just one, but you do have many ways that you can proceed with that ambition. Your CALLING for TODAY is to trust and obey God. If you try to do more, it becomes overwhelming. If you try to do less, it becomes pointless. So, its time to change your mindset and have this become your one ambition with many outlets to accomplish this ambition.
To lead a quiet life:
To lead a quiet life is about not seeking or pursuing unnecessary or undo attention. Much of this world thrives on being heard, but this scripture means that it’s not worth your time, or the time of others, to speak unless what your saying is spoken with dignity, love and consideration of others. Just because you have a voice, doesn’t mean you should use it. Now, this scripture doesn’t mean that you should be quiet and never speak, but it does mean that you should be wise regarding what you say and to whom you say it. The scripture also isn’t limited to your physical voice, but to what you do with your time. Your whole life should be able taking a stand for something worthy of your investment. Focus on the work or the call that God has placed before you and pursue that with intention and diligence. Focus on school, family and extra curricular activities. Don’t waste time analyzing social media posts, pursuing fame or seeking undo popularity.
Mind Your Own Business:
Minding your own business obviously means not to gossip, don’t eavesdrop and be careful to not evoke unwanted stress on other people due to your words or actions. Honor the Lord with your mouth and the words spoken by it. This seems pretty simple, and it really is, but can become pretty strenuous when faced by the daily pressures to “be in the know” at all times. To mind your own business also means not to covet, desire, want or lust what other people have. As well as only maintaining a lifestyle in which you can afford. This doesn’t refer only to money, but also to talents and capabilities. For example, don’t lust for a sexual relationship with your boyfriend because you’re not yet married. Or, don’t want a new car because you need to focus on saving for college instead. And, don’t want a pristine bedroom because you don’t have an eye for design. Keep your eyes focused on what God is calling you to do and not concern yourself with the details of others.
Work With Your Hands:
Working with your hands does mean physical labor, but it also means so much more. So, it’s important to have a hobby that uses your hands – like sewing, gardening, painting, playing a sport, etc. When you engage in physical activity, your body releases chemicals that boost how you feel about yourself, which can bring clarity into your true identity. A different sense of closeness with the Lord occurs because your mind is cleared and more able to contemplate His ways. Plus it’s easier to simply be in His presence without having to dig deep intellectually when you’re physically active. Also, taking care of your body is essential because you can’t labor for the Lord if your body isn’t fit and well.
It doesn’t end there, working with your hands also means doing what you can for yourself and not having to rely on others. Simply put, don’t be lazy. Don’t make your mother pick up after you, don’t make your brother grab something in the kitchen while you’re “busy” watching TV, don’t rely on your friends to keep you abreast with your class assignments. Don’t rely on others to do things for you when you “don’t feel like it.” Laziness isn’t just about sitting around doing nothings; it’s also about living an idle life. So, go out and do something. Take a walk, read a book or pursue something greater than yourself. Find something that satisfies you, makes you a stronger Christ follower and helps you make an incredible impact in this world. Take care of the things God has entrusted you with. Utilize your gifts and talents for the glory of the Lord and do things unto Him – even if it is just washing the dishes or clearing the table after dinner. Take care of your body, your bedroom, help your family care for your home. Trust in your abilities and don’t allow your confidence to depend on the presence of others. There is a lot you can do on your own.
1 Thessalonians calls you to make this your daily ambition so you can 1.) Gain the respect of others and 2.) not depend on anybody.
Respect of Outsiders
Christians and non-Christians will honor you and respect you more by focusing on this ambition rather than all else that life throws your way. These people will recognize the goodness in your heart, and they will be drawn to and intrigued by the unique and satisfying life you live.
Not depend on anybody
You’re still young enough that you need your parents, but you’re in the stage of life where you should be transitioning into adulthood and gaining independence. While independence doesn’t occur over night, making this your ambition will help you secure independence. As you become a more mature and well-rounded Christian, you will show your parents and loved ones what you’re capable of. You’ll start relying on the Lord rather than anything or anyone – a true sign of maturity. Then, when it’s time to step out on your own, you’ll feel comfortable and ready and your parents will trust that you’re able to care for yourself.
For you to truly connect with the Lord, you must live a simple life. That’s your one ambition, to live simply. To be free from distraction, clutter, noise, unnecessary entanglements, so you can always seek and pursue God’s call in your life. Shed extra weight by living a quiet life, mind your own business and work with your hands. God will bless you, so be ambitious!