Monday, August 8, 2016

Leading Lives of Quiet Aspiration

If you go on one of the famous life coaches’ web sites like Tony Robbins, you will see lots of advice for maximizing your personal success. In fact, for a fee of $650 - $3,000 you can learn about “Unleashing the Power Within”, "Life and Wealth Mastery”, and your “Date with Destiny”.  This is all about living big, living bold, and being exceptional. I’m not suggesting there isn’t merit in some of the curriculum but what does one of God’s life coaches, the Apostle Paul, say we should aspire to? 

In 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 we are given encouragement of another kind:

11make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Things to think about:

  • Well, that doesn’t sound very spectacular or world changing! In fact, in 21st century America “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life” sounds like giving up.  Henry David Thoreau famously wrote that “most men lead lives of quiet desperation”. So a quiet life is a desperate life?
    • what does being ambitious mean to you? Do you have a different definition professionally versus personally?
    • what is your ambition? Have you ever articulated it to someone else?
  • What is a quiet life?
    • does that mean we should be disengaged or passive? why or why not?
    • in the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God” and “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
    • How does a Type A person in our culture lead a quiet life?
  • “You should mind your own business”
    • In what ways do we not mind our own business?
    • when should we get involved?
    • why is gossiping so malignant?
    • Apparently Paul had some lazy folks on Thessalonica who weren't working but were busy being busybodies.  2 Thessalonians 3:11, " we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.”
  • Work with your hands
    • I thought I went to college so I wouldn’t have to work with my hands! 
    • Paul gives great nobility here to old fashioned hard work.
    • The idea here I believe is that diligent work, of whatever kind, is honoring to God. 
      • Colossians 3:23-24, "23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. "
  • God’s kingdom is built by men and women who lead quiet lives, working honestly and humbly
    • people in your sphere of influence are watching you
    • when we profess to be followers of Jesus, our lives go under the microscope of all the others who make the same claim and haven’t lived up to the standard
    • when folks outside of God’s family see genuine humility, coupled with honest work, it is winsome and respectable
    • when done well, we can be a blessing and not burden on others

No comments:

Post a Comment