When does ambition become dangerous? - Ambition - TouchPoints

When does ambition become dangerous?

Genesis 11:4Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

Ambition becomes wrong when its goal is to bring glory to yourself instead of God who gave you your talents and abilities.

Matthew 4:9“I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”

Ambition can become destructive if Satan uses it to lure you away from God. You can test your ambitions by asking if what you want to do will lead you closer to or farther away from God. If you’re not sure, then it is leading you away from him.

Mark 10:35-45Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him . . . “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you.” . . . When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant.

Selfish ambition can twist your friendships and service to God into petty competitiveness.

Galatians 5:19-21When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are . . . hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

James 3:16For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

Ambition arises from your sinful nature and can fuel not only your own sinful behavior, but also conflict with others. Selfish ambition cuts you off from the Holy Spirit, putting your agendas and self-gratification ahead of God’s will for you.

Mark 8:34-36Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

There’s a difference between wanting to be a part of God’s great work and wanting personal greatness through God’s work. It’s the difference between desiring to serve God and trying to use God to serve you. Ambition can fool you into striving to gain all you desire in this world at the cost of your rewards in heaven. How can you use ambition to glorify God?

1 Kings 8:58May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors.

1 Corinthians 14:1Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives.

2 Corinthians 10:13We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us.

Psalm 73:25Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.

Psalm 26:2, 8, 11-12Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart . . . I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells . . . But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.

Your motives signal whether your actions are based on selfish or godly ambition. When your greatest desire is to do God’s will, when loving and serving others is your greatest goal, when you focus every day on praising and worshiping God, then you are pursuing the godly ambition of glorifying him.