and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we instructed you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.
(1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV)
What are your ambitions? What do you dream of? What would make your heart swell with gladness if it came to pass? In this capitalistic society, we are encouraged to not only dream, but to set concrete goals to make the dream a reality.
Nothing wrong with that. I love setting goals and demolishing them. It makes me feel accomplished. Successful. But if I were asked if one of my ambitions include leading a quiet life, I'd admit that I’d say it isn’t necessarily one of my top five pressing goals.
I aim to be a wonderful wife, a great mother, an accomplished author and writer, and an honorable servant of God—none of which sounds like a quiet life to me. Having kids alone cancels out having a quiet life, right?
But having a quiet life isn’t what one may think. Paul, the writer of this text, didn’t have what one would consider a quiet life. His life was full of traveling to and from to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of his calling, he was beaten, imprisoned, lashed, stoned, and shipwrecked three times. He’d seen sleepless nights, went often without food and drink, and endured countless dangerous predicaments.
That doesn’t sound like a quiet life. That sounds like a loud life full of chaos if you ask me. So, what is a quiet life and why should we make it our ambition? A little prayer, guidance from God, and research revealed to me exactly what a quiet life is.
If you read over in 1 Timothy 2:2, we see scripture mentions living a quiet life once again. It states, “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Living a quiet life includes walking in godliness and holiness. This coincides with the referenced text because right before Paul advised us to live quiet lives, he mentioned that we should love one another—which of course is a godly and holy thing to do.
But we can’t live a quiet life without having a quiet spirit. As with all things concerning God, living a quiet life is a spiritual matter. To live a quiet life is to live a holy life. This is because holiness brings about a standard of peace. And peace is, I’d say, a very close relative of quietness.
Don’t you feel tranquility over your life when you’re under the full submission of God? The quietness that rushes over your life when you are aligned with God has nothing to do with your circumstances but everything to do with being still and knowing that He is God.
Living a quiet life is about how we respond and react in our daily lives even if we are in dire circumstances. It reminds me of when Moses instructed the Israelites to “hold their peace” when the Egyptians came against them in Exodus 14. Holding one’s peace is the same as being quiet, standing still before God and letting Him take control.
So, living a quiet life has nothing to do with how loud or active your life may be. In fact, we are encouraged by Paul in the same scripture to work with our own hands and attend to our own business, which may involve having an actively loud life. Business owners, entrepreneurs, parents, and most people in the work field (or in the world from what I see) don’t lead the quietest of lives.
But our spirit can absolutely be still and quiet, which in essence will make our entire life quiet. So, do I aspire for a quiet life now that God has broken the meaning down for me? Well, duh. Of course, I do 😊
In fact, a quiet life filled with holiness, godliness, and relinquished control to God is my number one ambition because what will my other ambitions mean if I’m not under God’s guidance? What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul? (Mark 8:36).
As we prepare to close 2022 and enter 2023, let’s make it our ambition to lead a quiet life. And as we quiet our spirits under the authority of God, we will as Moses stated, “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”.
May this reading be a blessing to you. I may or may not see you next week… I’m 9 months pregnant and the countdown is real! My time may come any day now, so if I disappear for a while, you’ll know why. Nevertheless, be blessed and take care! Thanks for your time.
Quin Arrington's Christian literary book collection consists of three titles, including both fiction and nonfiction. Visit www.amazon.com/author/quinarrintgon if you are interested in her work.