"And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all."
In these passages, Jesus directly addresses the subject of ambition. He taught that good ambition is a virtue. It is not wrong to desire to be great or to make a significant contribution. Jesus never rebuked the disciples’ ambition; instead, He channeled it, which is exactly what He wants to do for you. Jesus wants to steer your energy, motive, and efforts in the right direction.
The world thinks in terms of power, fame, wealth, position and influence. Sadly, in general most people are caught up in worldly ambition, seeking more and more of what the world has to offer. In fact, the majority of people tend to judge the success of others by their…
- Homes or vehicles
- Jobs or titles
- Influence or authority
- Social standing
The Lord’s view of ambition stands in direct contrast to the world’s view. You become great by doing what Christ says, that is, you do not seek greatness for your own sake but rather for the sake of serving others. Godly ambition seeks to serve rather than be served. It looks for people to help and for ways to help them. Ultimately, the way to greatness is through humble service. If you wish to be great, then this needs to be your driving ambition. No matter what your position is or how much authority you have, you are still called to serve. This is true greatness!
- Do you tend to be motivated by worldly ambition?
- What are some practical ways you can counter your tendencies towards ambition rooted in worldliness?
- What does it look like for you personally to humbly serve those you work with?
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