James 3:16 – For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
As a parent, you wake up every day, see what the family needs, and do your best to serve wherever is most helpful. What is true of a family is also true of a church family. At Trinity Church in Scottsdale, AZ, where I have the honor of being the senior pastor, our staff talks a lot about having a “heart for the house”. From season to season, our roles and responsibilities in ministry can change, but if we have a “heart for the house”, it matters little where we are at on the org chart because what matters is that there is glory for God and good for people.
What is true of family and ministry is also true of your workplace. If you are a team player, more concerned with whether the team is healthy and strong than your position, you can be a great blessing and benefit to everyone. The opposite of a “heart for the house” is what James calls “selfish ambition”.
Selfish ambition is the opposite of a servant’s ambition. Jesus had a lot of ambition, but it was a servant’s ambition for God’s glory and our good and not a selfish ambition for His own glory and ease. Ambition on its own is not a bad thing at all – I want you to have ambition and to start businesses, plant churches, and have families. Whether you’re living “Kingdom down” or “Hell up” ultimately just depends on the motive of your heart. The world is filled with selfish ambition and really does need servant’s ambition for His Kingdom.
Are there areas of your life where you have selfish ambition? How can you replace that with Godly ambition?