Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 31, 2015
By Tripp Prince.
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. 1 Thessalonians 4:11
As January 1st rapidly approaches, we find ourselves filled with ambitions and dreams for the year ahead. On this day each year countless individuals set goals for themselves in hopes of improving and bettering their lives. Common resolutions include eating healthy, exercising more, getting out of debt, or taking up a new hobby.
If you’re anything like me, your ambition for these resolutions greatly exceeds what you’re actually able to accomplish! I’ll set a dozen highly ambitious goals and faithfully pursue them for a few weeks, but by the time March rolls around I can barely remember what those goals even were. Perhaps you can relate?
As we look to the Scripture today, we’re confronted with a rather unusual resolution. We’re told to be ambitious, yet our ambition is to pursue a peaceful and quiet life. What a paradox! On the one hand, we’re told to have great ambition, to strive and seek after the goal set before us. Yet unlike virtually all other resolutions, our ambition is directed towards a calm and gentle spirit that finds peace in the simple and the ordinary.
“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:2).
At the root of our ambition we often find discontent. We are unhappy with our lives, our health, or our jobs, so we seek new ways to expand our identities or enhance our lifestyle. Yet so often this striving fails to deliver what it promises, and instead of finding contentment and peace, we find ourselves stuck in a vicious cycle of unrest and anxiety.
This year, I challenge you to make one very simple yet profoundly radical resolution: be content to live a quiet life.
Look for ways to find peace and joy in who God has made you to be. Encounter his blessings in small and simple ways, finding satisfaction in his presence and in time spent with those you love. Free yourself from the pressure to perform, to land your dream job, or to have a perfect body. Instead, take time this year to ambitiously pursue the peace and contentment that comes from leading a quiet and simple life with God and others.
Prayer: Father, give us courage this year to direct our ambitions towards things that truly matter, finding our hope and joy in knowing you in calmness and in peace.
Application: What goals do you need to free yourself from in order to ambitiously pursue a simple and quiet life?
Related Readings: Isaiah 14:7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Peter 3:4
Post/Tweet this today: One very simple yet profoundly radical resolution: be content to live a quiet life. #ambition #WisdomHunters
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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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