“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
Should Jesus’ followers care what anybody else thinks of how they live their lives? Absolutely! The type of work many of us do with our hands has changed drastically since Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, but the extent to which our lives demonstrate what we really believe has remained the same. When our ambition is selfish (personal profit, pleasure, popularity, power, or playing games, for example) we reveal the true object of our worship to be ourselves, and we misrepresent the cause of Christ. When our ambition is selfless, we reveal the true nature of Christ, who did not come to serve Himself, but to serve us, so that we can live with Him in peace and joy that extend into eternity.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for Your selfless sacrifice that we might be saved. Increase our faith through Your Spirit, that we live in ways that win the respect of outsiders and reveal Your selfless love, in Jesus, amen.”
An investment banker from New York was at the pier of a coastal Mexican village.
A small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside were several large tunas.
The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
Asked how long it took to catch them, the fisherman replied, “Only a little while.”
The American then asked, “Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?”
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.
The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
The fisherman said, "I sleep late and play with my children.
In the afternoon I take siesta with my beautiful wife, Maria.
Each evening we stroll into the village where I sip wine
and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life."
The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you.
You should spend more time fishing and with the profits, buy a bigger boat.
With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats.
In a few years you would have a fleet of fishing boats with many employees.
Instead of selling to a middleman you could sell directly to the processor.
Then you open your own cannery to control product, processing and distribution.
At that point you would need to leave this village and move to Mexico City.
From there you’d open offices in LA and NYC to run your expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But how long will this all take?"
To which the American replied, "15-20 years."
The fisherman asked, "But what then?"
The American laughed, and said, “That's the best part.”
"When the time is right you announce an IPO and sell your company stock.
You would become very rich and retire with millions of dollars."
The Mexican asked, "Millions of dollars! What would I do with all that money?"
The American said, "Well, you could retire and move to a small coastal fishing village.
You could sleep late, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, and each evening
you could stroll to the village to sip wine and play guitar with your amigos!"
The LORD bless you with wisdom to live in peace and quiet this week!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.