Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. 1 Thessalonians 4:11
There are three things, while not wrong in themselves, make living a quiet life difficult: wealth, fame and power.
Whether our wealth has come from our own efforts or from some form of inheritance it’s likely to have come with responsibility. How do we manage wealth properly? Are others dependant on our ability to keep making wealth? Are we able to maintain a correct perspective on gaining possessions in light of Jesus’ teaching? It requires wisdom to handle fame without becoming self-absorbed and pretentious. Even a small degree of popularity can affect our ability to be sensitive to the needs of others. And with power, there is always the temptation to use it for our own ends rather than the good of others. If our ambition is to lead a quiet life, we would do well to not seek after wealth, fame and power.
Interestingly, this verse doesn’t promise that God will grant us a quiet life even if we do make this our ambition. I’m sure Martin Luther was making it his ambition to live a quiet life in the monastery when he was thrust into a teaching role. This caused him to study the Scriptures which ultimately lead him to a major role in the Reformation. Moses was living a “quiet life” when his life was interrupted by a burning bush. There are others in the Bible and church history. So while we may desire a quiet life, God may have other ideas.
Am I open to God disturbing my quiet life and calling me to a position of power, fame, or even wealth? And if he does, what will be my response?