We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve and succeed. And if we're not careful, the pursuit of one more sale, one more percentage point, or one more dollar sign can utterly consume our lives. If it doesn't, we know they can find someone else who will.
This makes the following statement from the Bible a brave one: "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" (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). It's a call to hard work, yes, but also to the pursuit of work's greater goal—a "quiet life."
This is not the same as a lazy life, one with never a care or concern. A quiet life is one of perspective and balance. Business, labor, and career will always have certain seasons that call for an extra ummph of exertion. Not every day will be "quiet," and we shouldn't expect it to be. Still, a quiet life should remain our general "ambition"—our overall normal—so that when work expectations are keeping our lives noisy and chaotic week after month after year, courage and conviction will call us to make some changes. Our lifestyle becomes our lifetime quicker than we know it. And quiet only comes to those who seek it.
Pray this prayer: I need your help, God, to understand what this means for me. I don't want to do anything rash, but I do want to be in your will. I want to experience life the way you intend it to be.
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