Selfish Ambition

Selfish Ambition

The Bible condemns it in many places …

Galatians 5:19-21 – 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.{NKJV}

Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  {NIV}

James 3:14 – but if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  {NIV}

James 3:16 – for where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  {NIV}

Jesus Christ condemns it …

Matthew 18:1-4 – At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 20:25-27 – 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said; ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 but it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: {KJV}

Matthew 23:11-12 – 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. {KJV}

All Christians {i.e. Saints} should avoid …  

Psalms 121:1-8 – I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2

My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. 6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. {

May lead to strife and contention …

James 4:1-7 – From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not

hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Selfish ambition is often connected to pride, covetousness, and cruelty …

Habakkuk 2:4-5 – 4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.  5 Woe to the Wicked “Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man, and he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, and he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations and heaps up for himself all peoples.  {NKJV}

Covetousness …

Habakkuk 2:8-9 – 8 Because you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you, Because of men’s blood and the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it.  9 “Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house that he may set his nest on high that he may be delivered from the power of disaster!

Cruelty …

Habakkuk 2:12 – “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity!  {NKJV}


Adam and Eve …

Genesis 3:5-6 – 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. {KJV}

Miriam and Aaron Numbers 12:2 …

Numbers 12:2-8 – by us? And the LORD heard it. 3(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 4 And the LORD spoke suddenly unto 2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6 And he said hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? {KJV}

Korah … READ Numbers 16

Adonijah … READ 1 Kings 1:5

Sennacherib… READ 2 Kings 19:23

Sons of Zebedee … READ Matthew 20:21

The antichrist … READ 2 Thess. 2:4

Diotrephes … READ 3 John 1:9

Consider this:

All Christians must guard against the sin of selfish ambition; for this sin will cause that one who yields to it; spiritual suicide. If you find that your ambition is of the sort herein examined, correct it quickly by repenting and resolve to be unselfish in all that you want, hope for or desire in life. Indeed; submit yourself unto God and God will aid you in resisting the impulse toward selfish ambition – cf. Philippians 2:1-8 – 1 Unity Through Humility – Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 The Humbled and Exalted Christ  – Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. {NKJV}

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