September 4, 2023

The Ambition of a Christian

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9


Why do so many people struggle to find purpose? Well, our sense of purpose is tied to our ambitions. According to the apostle Paul, the ambition of a Christian should be to please God rather than oneself. That kind of eternal perspective gives us meaningful purpose for each day. So, how do we get there?


First, recognize the futility of living to please yourself. The world tries to find purpose and fulfillment by attaining power, position, and possessions. But Scripture tells us that everything temporal ends in rust and ruin (Matthew 6:19-20). Once a person realizes the futility of that mission, hope and purpose are lost. Anxiety is so rampant because ambitions are so wrong.


Secondly, understand that ambition has as much to do with your attitudes as it does your achievements. Notice, Paul didn’t say that pleasing God should be our greatest ambition but, “our ambition.” In other words, our relationship with Jesus isn’t meant to be part of life–He is our life. Everything we think, say, and do should be motivated by a desire to please the Lord.


We see this clearly in the life of Moses. “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24–26).


Moses wasn’t anxious or angry about losing Egypt’s treasure, or about being treated poorly. Because his life’s aim was Heaven, he lived in anticipation of Heaven’s reward. He didn’t let circumstances keep him from seeking what he believed in his heart, even if he couldn’t see it with his eyes. He was motivated more by his invisible reality than his visible circumstances.


Think about the purpose your life takes on when you live with that kind of eternal perspective. Do you have the ambition of a Christian? Ask yourself, “Are my life goals earthly or eternal? Self-serving or God-pleasing?” Remember, real purpose isn’t found by getting what you want but living in such a way that God gets what He wants. And He eternally rewards those who live to please Him.