"There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher." George Matthew Adams said, "He climbs highest who helps another up." John Lubbock put it this way, "To do something, however small, to make others happier and better is the highest ambition, the most elevating HOPE, which can inspire a human being." – Henry Van Dyke
AMBITION- Good or bad?
Zig Zigler quotes an anonymous writer, “ambition, fueled by compassion, wisdom and integrity, is a powerful force for good. It will turn the wheels of industry and open the door of opportunity for you and countless thousands of other people. Fueled by greed and the lust for power, ambition is a destructive force that ultimately does irreparable damage to the individual in its grasp and to the people within its reach.”
Webster Dictionary defines ambition in this way:
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin ambition-, ambitio, literally, act of soliciting for votes, from ambire
Date: 14th century
1 a : an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power b : desire to achieve a particular end.
The Bible has much to say about ambition – and it isn’t good news. In 2 Chronicles 26:16-21 we see a picture of ambition in the person of King Uzziah. It wasn’t enough that he was King over Israel; he presumptuously desired and took upon himself the rank of High Priest. This selfish act brought judgment upon King Uzziah and he died a leprous outcast.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust of it; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” – 1 John 2:16-17
“From where come wars and fightings among you? Come they not here, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust and have not; ye kill and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” – James 4:1-3
Conversely, we see in Colossians 3:12-17 a model for Christian living:
“Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, also do ye. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another, in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Paul admonishes his young student Timothy to:
“Study [MAKE IT YOUR AMBITION] to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” - 2 Timothy 2:15
So men, is it time to hang up our power ties; trade them in for sackcloth and ashes? Ladies, must you now retreat from aspiring to accomplish great things?
Picture, if you will, looking up at jagged cliffs rising from a tempestuous ocean. At the top of the cliff there appears movement. It is difficult to see at first, but as the clouds pass high overhead you clearly see the image of a muscular black stallion. Its coat glistens in the sun looking as if each tendon, each powerful muscle, strains to burst from its massive body! As you watch in total amazement its splendor, its beauty, its awesome power, the stallion rises upon its hind legs and kicks at the openness before him. And then you see it! It wasn’t noticeable at first. You were so taken by this creature’s beauty, its power, its majesty, that you almost missed it! Lodged within the stallion’s jaws, there is a bit and bridle. Herein is the definition of humility and meekness. It is not the woe-is-me weak-kneed Christians who look as if they had been weaned on a dill pickle. Not the habitual, “pray for me” Christian who fails to claim God’s blessing because it might mean losing the attention so addictively desired and manipulatively received. It is not the “give God the glory” Christian who puts on a cloak of humility as if it were a theater prop, only to accentuate and emphasize SELF. Humility, and Godly ambition, is simply POWER UNDER CONTROL. It is being who God made you to be – but letting Him control the reins.
Today, consider the opportunities before you. What is His will; does your "ambition" conform to it? If so, who controls the reins in your life - TODAY?