Selfish Ambition?

What do you consider selfish ambition?

Here is Galatians 5: 16-21 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

As average simple Christian people, what are the selfish ambitions we are faced with from our sinful nature? I think the older I get the more selfish I become. Maybe it is just getting set in my ways, or not wanting to waste time or money on something I don’t want. Personally, I do not believe that is the selfish ambition this scripture refers to. I think it is more. In reading the whole book of Galatians, Paul writes it to a Christian church, so I consider it addressed to me, to us.

It is easy to define the selfish ambition of some Hollywood stars or non-Christian politicians who bend the law or down right cheat, but what would you consider the definition of the selfish ambition of the sin nature that God is referring to in this Scripture for just little ol‘ us? Any brave souls want to share their opinion?

5 thoughts on “Selfish Ambition?

  1. After pondering this question for a moment or two what came to my mind is . . . selfish ambition is putting ourself before others, whether by thought or deed, to gain in some way that benefits us. As it applies to me, do I take a meal to someone in need or say I’m too busy; do I stop at 10 pm at night to pick up milk for my son or say I’m too tired; do I listen to someone who needs to unload their woes or do I keep it shallow because I don’t want to be bothered . . . these are all small examples, but they can have wide reaching effects if I tend more toward the second part than the first. (Does that make sense?) We are called to be like Christ–He was the ultimate servant leader, the ultimate giver.


  2. This is a scripture I struggle with daily as a matter of fact Tammster!
    In my world of egos and egotists, the entertainment world, albeit, radio is the lowest denominator, I daily have a certain amount of “selfish ambition”. How do I define that? I will put MY show above the others, I will put MY voice over the others, I AM the best at what I do…etc.
    Now, does that fit Paul’s definition? Maybe. It speaks to me that way and I have to ask for God’s help each day in that.

  3. Wow Tammy…

    I don’t care what you claim, YOU ARE DEEP GIRL!!

    I think that like many things, there is a fine line when it comes to defining selfish ambition in our own lives.

    I used to be one of those people that always put myself last, allowed myself to be abused emotionally and spiritually…and have kept my mouth shut when I shouldn’t have because it seemed “selfish” to stand up for myself or even selfish to live a life I enjoy. I have never found more freedom in my life when I realized that God loves me and truly doesn’t expect me to be miserable in this life.

    But, I wrestle with this passage as well. You look at the list accompanying “selfish ambition” and wow, it’s nasty nasty sin stuff that is easy to define.

    When I personally think about selfish ambition, I think I’m with Wanda (hi Wanda!), it’s all about putting others before yourself. And, this isn’t to allow yourself to be treated like junk, but rather to live a life that is in existence to love others and serve others. Just like Jesus.

    Considering that this passage is written to the church, I think it’s not only good to look at individually but as a church as a whole. What fuels our church…what does our church live for or represent? Is it building an empire so one man can be put on a throne, or is it serving the lost and suffering? And, so many times a “prayer request” for another friend is simply gossip…so even in the small details of fellowship we can be aware of how our selfishness can rear it’s head.

    Anyways, good things to think about Tammy. Love to you guys!

  4. Very thought-provoking post, Tammy. I think when it comes down to it, anything can be done out of selfish ambition. Be it ministry, helping someone, or any other good deed… if it isn’t done with a cheerful heart, then it’s done out of selfish ambition. If we do something out of guilt, fear, or obligation, then it’s just done to allay the consequences of not doing it (to help yourself). If it’s done with a pure motive, then it is truly done for the other person(s) out of compassion or caring. At least, that’s my humble opinion 🙂

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