Ambition vs selfish ambition

I am sure you have talked about AMBITION at some point in your life, whether it was talking about your own ambitions or ambitions of others, this word is most of the time associated with bad behavior right? When we think of someone being ambitious we think of someone not being a team player, or someone that wants to look good and make others look bad, who is willing to do anything or go over anyone to get what they want.

In the workplace environment, it is not different. Although many times we catch ourselves or others being ambitious, we often do not want to be associate with being an ambitious person, instead, we say that we are committed and determined.

So the question I want to ask is, is ambition good or bad? Many people say that ambition is good because it drives us to want more, to become better at our work.

In Philippians 2:3-4 Paul writesPhil-23-4-square-760x760.jpg

So, is there a difference between ambition and selfish ambition?

In the dictionary ambition means – “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work”

On the other hand, selfish ambition (Greek word Eritheia) means – “to be self-seeking and always looking out for one’s own interests above the interests of anyone else”

Do you see the difference? Ambition alone is good, it will drive us to have determination, to achieve our goals and to work hard, it will help us to achieve our goals not only at the workplace but also in seeking God and learning more about Him, to become better and
serve Him to our fullest.

Now, that being said, selfish ambition is not good. Selfish ambition will drive you to achieve your goals by not allowing you to care for the needs of those around you. If your motivation comes from pride, egoism, greed, self-love, and self-advancement, then, what is driving you is not ambition but selfish ambition.

Self-ambition can become a dangerous type of behavior not only at the workplace but in other areas of your life. If you stop one minute to think about this you will see that when we let selfish ambition be our motivation we stop working hard and we start looking for the “easy way out”.

At the workplace, that might be taking credit for something you did not do or lying to your boss about something you have done because you are afraid of the consequences and you do not want to show them your weakness and faults.

In your marriage, it could be that instead of valuing your family, you value your work and lie to yourself and others saying you need to “work hard” to provide for them when the only thing they really need right know is you time and commitment to them. But it is so much easier to hide behind work and not deal with the stress of marriage and raising kids right? Your work life serves as a valid excuse for you to do just that.

Instead of being the man and women, father and mother, son and daughter, brother and sister that God wanted us to be, we keep chasing after our own interests and fail to knowledge that our family and others have interests too.

In your relationship with God, it might be that you so focus on your own achievements that you start trusting yourself more than you trust God. You rely on you own understanding instead of God’s.

In Proverbs 3:5-6 the Bible saysown understanding

It says to trust God in ALL our ways right? But why it is so hard to do that? Why is it so hard to wait for that promotion at work or to be recognized for our achievements?  The problem is that we want what we want and we want it now. We do not want to wait, we have no patience and because of that, we get in trouble sometimes.

Dear God, as I learn about this topic today, I ask you to teach me to be patient, that I will learn to trust You with all my heart and that I understand that Your way is always better. I know that it might not look like it is right now, and I know that I sometimes get discourage with my work and personal life achievements, but I know that You know what is better for me, so I will trust in You.

For a Better World



7 thoughts on “Ambition vs selfish ambition

  1. Beautiful post with some thoughtful questions. It’s in part what I wrote about today. When I think about my faith in the context of motivations for anything it boils down to asking if the motive is rooted in Love or ego. Take mascara for example; I’m pretty sure my motive for wearing it almost everyday has nothing to do with Jesus but I think it makes me easier to look at 🙂 So there. I’m a bit human.

    Liked by 1 person

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