a Business as Mission Network:: Turn Good Business and Missions into Great Ministry: The Right Kind of Ambition <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d27430628\x26blogName\x3dBusiness+as+Mission+Network::+Turn+Go...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://businessasmission.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://businessasmission.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d6117473324771524729', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Business as Mission Network:: Turn Good Business and Missions into Great MinistryTurn Good Business and Missions into Great Ministry with News, Resources, and Tools from the leading businesss leaders, authors, pastors around the world

The Right Kind of Ambition

By Chris Widener - President and CEO, MadeForSuccess.com - "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you." 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Can Christians be ambitious? That question haunts many Christian business people who want to be devoted to the way of Christ but who also feel a compelling drive to succeed in the marketplace. We want to succeed in business, but we feel that we should not long for the things of this world.

The question I ask myself is this: Is God ambitious? The answer is unequivocally yes. After all, what ambitious plans could top the goal of creating a hundred million galaxies? God’s plan to become a man and single-handedly save mankind from its fallen state is the essence of compassionate ambition. God, by His very nature, is ambitious.

So, where does that leave us? We were created in the image of God to reflect the nature of God. That means that we as Christians should be ambitious, for when we are ambitious, it shows the world the very nature of God. As a caveat, at the same time we are called to reflect the character of God.

This brings us to the kinds of ambition that we should not demonstrate—selfish ambition. Paul writes, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery . . . selfish ambition, dissensions, factions” (Gal. 5:20; see also Philippians 1:17; 2:3). James states, “Where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (3:16).

Never does the Bible tell us to not be ambitious, but it does tells us five times that selfish ambition is not of God. We demonstrate the character of God in our ambition when we avoid selfish ambition and instead demonstrate selfless ambition. The key is to always be aware of the state of our heart.

Are we ambitious because God has placed a desire in our heart to achieve a dream that glorifies Him? Then we should pursue it with all our hearts! But if we find that there are selfish motives in our ambition, we need to take the time to pray and ask God to show us His grander ambitious plans for our lives. It is our job to wait on God, hear His voice and pursue His ambitious plan.

Point to Ponder

Selfless ambition triumphs over unhealthy ambition every time.

Questions to Consider

1. Are your plans selfish or selfless? Does the very fact that you have made plans necessarily mean that they will be carried out or completed?

2. Are you pursuing a dream or desire that God has placed in your heart that will ultimately glorify Him? How can you surrender your own ambitions and join in God’s plan?
3. Are you demonstrating the character of God in your ambitions? What might be the end result of living a life of selfless ambition?
From Devotional Ventures, © 2007 by Corey CleekPublished by Regal Books. Used by permission. Allrights reserved.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Justin Forman | 8.20.2009 - 7:00 AM

2 Comments:

Chris, I like and agree with your thesis. God's ambition is also to transform the world around each of us through His Presence in and through us. Who but God would be ambitious, or courageous enough to want partner with we "Earthen Vessels" in displaying His Glory!
commented by Blogger Carl, 1:38 PM  

I agree, this is a difficult one. Quite often the way we have to present ourselves seems so opposite to the humility described in the sermon on the mount. I think that the answer lies more in who our confidence is in and what we are ambitious for, as opposed to whether we are confident and ambitious or not.
commented by Anonymous Chris Dixon, 6:04 PM  

Add a comment