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Is Ambition Sinful?

As I consider my involvement in the Mission Experience ministry in Haiti, I am often struck by how I can contrast my life in America versus life in Haiti. One seemingly different characteristic that fills American life, particularly in the working world, is ambition. While I am sure ambition exists in Haiti, it seems overshadowed by survival. So, I grapple with these contrasting views of life while serving in Haiti. But is ambition a Godly attribute or a selfish human endeavor?

I was struck reading a book by Alistair Begg on our goal to be a pleasure to God and how ambition can be Godly if it is directed for His purpose. I can strive to be successful in business if its goal is to be God honoring.

Consider Paul. He was extremely ambitious to the point he would let nothing stand in his way in order to serve God. Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 4:1-2 "Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor? Paul didn't say to stop doing anything but rather to walk in a way that would honor God.

So, as I consider how my life may be different from my Haitians brothers and sisters, in one sense it's the same. To live ambitiously for Christ and in so doing, I become a pleasure to God and I honor Him.

Steve Purkapile

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