This particular set of verses really just GRAB me every time I read them! Like usually pierces my heart! The first time I read them, I had to pick my jaw up off the ground because Paul said "mind your own business". I think I laughed out loud and cackled about that for a week! Why? I have no idea, but it was clever!
So again, these verses are deep on my heart, and I thought I'd sit down and maybe dissect those out and find a way to actually apply them to my everyday life. Have you ever done that? Not just said "Oh.. I need to start doing that" but really sit down and figure out HOW to do it?! Of course you NEED God's leading and prompting otherwise you really are going to find yourself working three times harder than you would if you just let Him guide ya.
1. "Make it your ambition"
What does that mean? Let's look at the word ambition from a Christian (Christ Like) view. The Greek word for “ambition,” philotim, means literally “to esteem as an honor.” Being ambitious, in and of itself, is not wrong, it’s what we esteem or honor that can be a problem. The Bible teaches that we should be ambitious, yet the objective is to be accepted by Christ, not by the world. (reference) So, We need to make it our "goal" to esteem God first and foremost in our life.
2. to lead a quiet life
Many scriptures lead us to understand that we should be living humbly and seeking to bring honor to God Almighty alone. Not ourselves. Not our spouse, but to God. If we are leading a life that is loud, and achieve honor, wealth or fame than most likely it will not be quiet for long. It will instead become cluttered with many voices ~ including some inner voices that we do not need to give life to.
3. to mind your own business
Stop worrying why "so and so" did this or said that. Stop being so busy in everyone's lives trying to "fix" them that your own life is falling apart. Stop trying to look over the fence at the neighbors grass wondering why your's isn't growing the same as theirs or vice-versa. If we truly are going to be mind our own business, we might actually grasp that "child like" mentality that God so adores. Do you know why? They are so busy in their own little lives, they have no idea how your life compares to theirs and honestly they don't care to. As adults we are nosy, and have our hands in pots where they don't belong. There I said it.
4. Work with your hands
I love this part! It's time to get your hands dirty ... and busy. Why? We were not created to sit around and just fiddle our thumbs. If our hands are busy we don't have time to give to be in everyone's business around us do we? We don't have time to spend sitting idly waiting for life to happen around us. The proverbial woman was amazing! She didn't remain idle! She kept busy. I bet she minded her own business, and was busy enough that her life WAS quiet and she OBVIOUSLY had to be content. (This does not mean you HAVE to work outside your home, though you cannot discount those whom God has called to do so. Keeping a home, tending to children, and taking proper care of our husbands is a full time job in it's own.)
5. so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders
"Actions speak louder than words" is a phrase that most of us have both heard and experienced. It's true. You can say all you want to me, post on Facebook, send in a text message but until I see it happening I do not believe it. I try not to say something myself unless I am already doing it. We don't win the respect of outsiders (strangers, even friends who don't know you on the deep level you wish they did) simply by talking or even by showing up in church on Sunday. I sadly know many who are dedicated to sitting in church on Sunday, yet their life shows no fruit of that. I also know a few who do not attend church, yet they "HAVE" church daily and I DO see the fruit of that!
6. and so that you will not be dependent on anybody
This doesn't mean you get to be in control!! No sir! In fact, it is a bit less than that! No.. a LOT less than that! When I am living a quiet life, minding my own business, working with my hands I do not have time to be a control freak! I am also not depending on someone else to tell me what to do. Do you know why? Because if I am truly honestly putting this into practice, I am relying on God Almighty to lead and guide me. He leads me to the scriptures I need for the day. He leads me to what pod casts/messages to listen to that time of day. He leads me to what book to read. I am not dependent on anyone but God Almighty. Why? I believe HE is in control ~ and I can depend on HIM to lead my husband to make the right decisions for our family, my directors at work to make the proper changes/decisions at work to bring Him the glory, and even for His guidance on what to cook for dinner/what area in our home to clean/etc and even what encouraging word you all need to hear on this blog.
Pray Hard. Work Hard. Play Hard. Love Hard.
If I had to try to put that set of scriptures in today's terms and with more detail it would go something like this:
Make it your daily goal to be ever present in your own life under God Almighty's authority that you are too busy to be a busybody who is more concerned with other people's faults and life to tend to your own. Be busy and active in your life, home, marriage, parenting, and at work so that your daily doings are worthy of respect from not only your friends and family, but complete strangers as well as pure evidence of God at work in your own life. By doing so, you must realize that God is bigger than you, and stay so tuned into Him and His will that you do not depend on anybody else but Him to fulfill you and your needs.