Tag Archives: ambition

This negative side of ambition makes us want to get ahead of others

Discerning God’s Wisdom
Don’t Harbor – Part 2

Scripture Reading: James 3:13-18

Key Verse: James 3:14

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

Continuing from yesterday’s devotional, we see James warn Christ followers against selfish ambition. One definition of ambition is an earnest desire for some type of achievement. That is not a sinful desire in and of itself. We should all have an earnest desire, for example, to build God’s kingdom.

Our job is to watch for selfish ambition that can easily creep into our thinking. This negative side of ambition makes us want to get ahead of others—to beat them at some task. This selfish ambition is pushing others’ needs and wants aside to accomplish our wants. Jesus came to help us see that life at its fullest comes from allowing others to win over us. This perspective says, “I am second.”

Our world encourages the thought that we must take care of “number one” first. That is true for Christ followers as well, except we determine to make others number one, not ourselves. Whether we are driving on our freeways, shopping in our stores, or working at our jobs, we must continually fight the urge to cut ahead of others—racing to be number one. Jesus told us that His way was the narrow way—not the easiest of ways! However, Jesus’ way leads to eternal life as well as a rich life here on earth.

Father, I need your help today to remind me to allow others to go ahead of me. In Jesus’ name, amen.