Therefore, we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9).
There is nothing wrong with ambition.
Paul wrote that he wanted to preach the gospel in Rome and Spain. Jesus commanded ambition when He told us to go and disciple the world. Goals and dreams are good.
There is selfish ambition too. Not so good!
Our desires can be to possess or manipulate. We have ambitions for pleasure or control.
The meaning of the Greek word that Paul uses in 2 Corinthians is “loving what is worthwhile.” James also writes about ambition.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart… (James 3:14).
The word James uses for ambition can also be translated as “a mercenary working for carnal desires.” There is a phrase – “sold your soul to the devil” – that defines selfish ambition.
A great New Year’s resolution has ambition. The good kind not the bad.
Great ambition aligns with God’s calling and is empowered by the Spirit. A person who makes a great resolution has spent time in prayer discerning God’s will.
The three questions you should ask while discerning a great and or self-seeking resolution:
One: Does this benefit others or me?
Two: Does this glorify God or me?
Three: Does this fulfill God’s calling in my life?
A great resolution will face three temptations:
One: Opposition! The evil one will challenge godly plans.
Two: Fear! Great resolutions confront inadequacies.
Three: Flesh! Current habits that defeat or a lack of new habits to help.
When composing New Year’s resolutions, I remember…
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Which story below illustrates good ambition and which selfish ambition?
Looking at the rich young ruler, Jesus showed love to him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But he was deeply dismayed by these words, and he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property (Mark 10:21-22).
Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him (Matthew 4:18-20).
Great resolutions seek Jesus. I hope you make many and God fulfills all of them in 2022.