By Doug Markle of Beloved Lord Ministries
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:14-16)
My goodness James, why don’t you say what you really think!
In today’s world, being ambitious is a virtue. We all love someone that is willing to put in the work and do what they need to do to get ahead. So how do we balance that with this verse? Is it wrong to want to get ahead? I do not believe so. The key here is the motive. Selfish ambition and bitter Jealousy. Can you celebrate when someone else gets ahead or does it eat away at you? Is your desire to get ahead a desire to be in a better place than you are now or a desire to do better than your coworker, your friends, or others that you envy?
I believe that the Bible is clear. We are blessed to be a blessing. God wants the best for us. But he also wants us to be humble. He wants us to serve the less fortunate. He is never ok with self-promotion (just look at how Jesus felt about and treated the Pharisees and Sadducees). If you are working hard for the next level, make sure you are focused on the right things and He is at the center of everything. Make sure you never allow your ambition to become selfish ambition. Never be bitter or jealous because someone else is being blessed.