May 4, 2022

Quiet Ambition

Written by Boyd Bailey

Your ambition to live a quiet life will help others discover the abundant life that only comes through abiding in Christ—the quiet life.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 4, 2022

We urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders. 1 Thessalonians 4:10-11

Ambition like pride is a versatile word, both can have dual meanings—one good and one bad. Good pride is taking pride in your work or being proud of your children, both admirable and a healthy way to live. Bad pride arrogantly looks down on others with conceit and superiority demanding your way as the only way. Likewise godly ambition is desirable, while selfish ambition is undesirable. Paul, the early church leader, was motivated by a godly ambition to abide in Jesus and to live like Jesus. And one clear application for Paul to live out the lifestyle of Christ was an ambition to lead a quiet life. Not a loud, look at me life, but a quiet life that peacefully lives in the present. “In the present is where time touches eternity” (C.S. Lewis). Quiet ambition mutes the noisy culture, so your soul can experience God’s love. Trust the Lord and push the mute button.

Paul continues to explain the goal of quiet ambition is to be a billboard for the gospel, so those outside the faith will be drawn to faith in Jesus. Your peace filled life will cause the lost to look twice at your calm life. In a world full of fear and chaos, they will ask—why are you so serene, unhurried, at peace? Your ambition to live a quiet life will help others discover the abundant life that only comes through abiding in Christ—the quiet life. A benefit of quietness is the reservoir of love that deepens and widens so your capacity to serve and care for others grows. A quiet life accomplishes more Kingdom essentials, there grows a capacity and a desire to fulfill God’s will!

“I make it my ambition to preach the gospel” (Romans 15:20, ESV).

Are you exhausted by all the noise in your life? Social media, email, streaming TV shows and what seems like a 24/7 onslaught of breaking news? Maybe it’s time to take a noise inventory. Activity and busyness are typically full of noise, while being still and silent by yourself—invites a conversation with the Lord God your Creator. Speaking of your Creator, He is easily found in His quiet, majestic creation. And no surprise, His tender voice tends to be muffled in the high volume of man’s manufactured creation. So, rediscover or create quiet, reflective environments. 

If, like Paul and Jesus, your ambition is to lead a quiet life, then it’s necessary you are intentional. Intentional with your calendar to block off time to think, pray and schedule fewer appointments and activities. Quietness comes from living close to home where it’s conducive to abide in Christ. Perhaps you manage life’s noise by converting your smart phone to a dumb phone. You might remove email from your phone, then on your laptop read and respond to it in the morning and in the late afternoon. Turn off your notifications so you are not constantly distracted by a barrage of buzzes and dings. Quiet ambition is counter to culture, so you will experience resistance. But in time you will find a fulfilled life with energetic joy and you will experience a peace that passes all understanding. 

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the other” (Philippians 2:3-4).


Heavenly Father, quiet my soul and make my life ambition to quietly be loved by you and to love others, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


What goal do I need to let go of and embrace instead a humbler approach?

Related Reading

Proverbs 21:21; Psalm 40:8; Colossians 3:23; Ephesians 6:7

Worship Resource

Elevation Rhythm: Quiet


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