Happy 2018! Another year ends and another begins. I can be coined as a “free spirt” or “creative". So naturally, when I see the New Year’s Resolution come in through feeds, the gym membership balloons, goal planners and vision boards posted, I get excited and overwhelmed all at the same time.
Let me explain. As I have continued on my journey of #adulting, I find myself needing to be diligent and that comes often through goal setting, to-do lists – you name it. But, if not careful, as Paul Tripp often says, “Good things can become bad things, when they become ruling things”. And so, I find myself starting off with a good thing, and when not careful, it rules me and I began in my fleshly nature to let it become a bad thing. Why? Because I can get so focused on the task that I will lay aside all else to meet that goal, it will rule me. Sure enough. So, I asked, “What’s at the heart of this?”
“What’s at the heart of this?
Here’s what I found: ambition. So, what is ambition? Is it biblical? Can I find it in scripture? And if so, how does God want us to live out godly ambition for his glory?
Ambition is defined as an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power. Secondarily, it is defined as a desire to achieve a particular end. Ambition rooting itself in its latin origin to the word ambire, meaning: to go around. It’s the idea that when a Roman individual wanted to gain votes they would “go around” soliciting others to vote for them. What many do today in the political world to get votes.
In scripture the word, ‘ambition’ is not specifically used but is synonymous with the word ‘pride’. After reading the following text (Ps.49:11-13, Hab.2:5,6,9; Matt.4:8-10; Matt.16:26; Matt.23:5-7; 1 Jn.2:16) it reveals that ambition (pride) is rooted in the glorification of self. It rules and makes it progress for the benefit of oneself, primarily through the praise, pomp and circumstance from man. Meaning, it is in opposition to Paul’s exhortation from the Lord in Colossians 3:17, “ And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
So, is it wrong to set goals? No. Is it wrong to plan? No. As long as at the core of your heart is the sole purpose of bringing glory to His name. As I go back and review my list of goals and to-do’s, I am eliminating and concentrating on His works being done on earth as it is heaven.