Godly ambition – a holy task

By Dave Henning / May 21, 2018

“It is a noble thing to be a Christian pastor, nourishing the common life and curing sick souls, but it is no more a holy task than that of a Christian banker.” D. Elton Trueblood, Christian philosopher (1900-1994)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”- Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

In Chapter 1 (“God’s Favor”) of Finding Favor, Brian Jones opens with a popular misstatement that many Christians believe.  Also, such misstatements, which the author dubs “urban legends of Christianity,” even appear to have their basis in the Bible.  One such statement: Full-time ministry is God’s highest calling.  In contrast, as Elton Trueblood once states, God views every area of our lives as holy ground, whether that’s in the Christian or secular area.

Therefore, Pastor Jones explains, what’s most important is that your calling reflects the glory of God:

“God’s vision has always been for his people to serve him wherever they are, from the ends of their driveways to the ends of the earth.  Get rid of the idea that you have to go ‘over there’ for God to do something great through you.  God does want to do something great with your life.  But please understand, that it honestly doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it to the glory of God.”

Thus, the key involves discerning the difference between selfish ambition and godly ambition:

  • selfish ambition – a bad thing, condemned
  • godly ambition – the desire to self-sacrificially be used by God to the fullest; a beautiful thing to behold; encouraged

Today’s question: What Bible verses enable you to humbly perform a holy task?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Holy ambition honors a holy God”

About the author

Dave Henning

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