The Cross is an Obstacle

Selfish ambition does not care who gets put down in its drive to the top

The Cross is an Obstacle to Selfishness
Selfish Ambition – Part 1

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-4

Key Verse: Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

The cross is certainly a huge obstacle to selfish ambition—the phrase we read in our printed key verse for today.  I believe God installed ambition into our “hard drive.” defines “ambition” as “a desire to work; energy; an earnest desire for some type of achievement.”  Taking up our cross and following Christ must not destroy this normal and necessary desire within us.  However, the Apostle Paul wasn’t criticizing ambition, he was pointing toward “selfish ambition.”

In Philippians 1:15 the apostle described some who were preaching “Christ out of envy and rivalry.”  It is this that helps us understand Paul’s thinking when he writes, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition” which is doing things to promote self above others because of these unworthy motives of envy and rivalry.  In most cases it would be impossible for us to judge in others whether their ambition is selfish or normal.  Within ourselves, we can stay in step with God’s Spirit when He convicts us of any unworthy motives.

Normal ambition drives us to do more things for the betterment of our workplace and/or God’s kingdom.  When we do this correctly, we feel no need to make others look bad so we can look good.  Selfish ambition does not care who gets put down in its drive to the top.  (Continued)

Father, I lay my motives before you.  Please look deep within me and see if there are any offensive motives unworthy of you!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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