Take a look at those around you. Look particularly at those who are better, more successful, and more recognized at doing the thing you are ambitiously striving to do. How do you feel about them? Are you happy for them? Are you encouraged by them? Or does their apparent success and ease at accomplishment make you frustrated and angry? There’s your check.
The minute we stop being happy for the successes and victories of others, especially when those successes and victories come in an area of life in which we are ambitious, we know there’s a problem brewing if not already boiling. When you look at the person who makes more money than you do in your field, though they do so honestly and morally, and you wish them to have failure, there’s a problem. When you look at the person who has their home better organized and their children more respectful and you are resentful, there’s a problem. When you look at the one who has more people reading their blog because, frankly, theirs is better then yours (man, this is a little personal now), you’ve got a problem.
It’s not a “them” problem; it’s a “you” problem.
The Bible tells us over and over again that the way we treat others is a reflection of what’s going on inside us:
- Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love… (Eph. 5:1)
- If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. (1 Jn. 4:20)
- If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? (Js. 2:15-16)
See the dynamic? Our treatment of others gives us a window into our hearts. In the case of ambition, our joy with and love for those who are successful shows us whether or not our ambition is godly or whether it’s misplaced.
So what are you striving for today? What are you working hard at? Where is your ambition? If you want to know whether or not that ambition is healthy, don’t just examine your heart; look to your treatment of other people. It’ll show you.Read the rest.
Books by Michael Kelley