Selfish Ambition?

For me, the word “ambition” has a negative impact often, I am called to be a person who must “run in such a way as to get the prize” and “press on toward the goal” for which I have been chosen and called. The “goal” is to know this “someone” intimately but the prize is “eternal and everlasting”!

Whichever way I may interpret it, ‘ambition’ guides me to know and follow this “someone”, not just at home or at church, but at my workplace, the bus station, the restaurant and everywhere I go! This therefore requires that this “someone” has to be in total control over ‘my world‘!

Common to my workplace that I have observed over the years is the temptation to use others as stepping stones for our own success. We steal the credit for a subordinate’s or co-worker’s work, we withhold information from a rival for promotion, we shift the blame to someone not present to defend themselves, we take advantage of someone in a difficult situation, I have seen this, I am also guilty that I have had some connection.

Overall, this is selfish ambition! My thinking is purely my i-factor – its all about me, me, me and me!

I can make it my goal to know Him more and live for His glory wherever I am, but, it requires my total surrender and absolute willingness to know and follow Him. The outcome of such an ambition is also characterized by my concern for the welfare of others. As I grow in knowing Him, I know that I can develop a passion for Him and His redemptive purpose that I am here on this earth for.

I am not called to look at my own interests, but I am learning that it should and must be the interests of others! The i-factor is automatically dropped off!

As German Catholic theologian Johannes Baptist Metz has observed:

“We are all members of a species that is not sufficient unto itself. We are all creatures plagued by unending doubts and restless, unsatisfied hearts.”

We are, in other words, proud people who attempt at every turn to minimize our reliance on God and inflate our sense of self-importance. When our dreams exceed our reach, we have a choice. We can lose heart and despair or we can say thank you and wait for further guidance.

The answer lies in me submitting. I must submit to God whenever I put my ambition in the service of others ahead of myself. I want to rise to a position of authority and excellence, do you? How can we begin by helping others increase their authority and excellence? Can we invest in the success of those around us?



  1. Truly God knows that our tendency is to always look after our own interests or our own ambitions. That’s why Jesus commanded us to consider others better than ourselves and to look out for the interest of others rather than our own. God is really emphatic that we should be outwardly focused and not inwardly. Having an outward focus can only be possible if we are controlled by the Holy Spirit and by being fully grounded with God’s word. That’s why christian living is impossible to live out apart from Jesus Christ’s empowerment. Apart from him there can be nothing good in us. Apart from Him we would always pursue selfish ambition. Great thoughts Dil!


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