The Ambition Bomb

A few years ago, a Virginia state trooper became a local celebrity for finding bombs. The trooper, along with his dog, Master Blaster, discovered bombs in malls in Hampton and Virginia Beach.

Regrettably, the recognition went straight to the state trooper’s head. A hidden camera later revealed him placing a bomb in a shed he had been asked to search for explosives. He was arrested, and later pled guilty to planting bombs at two malls, a courthouse, and a coliseum.

He told investigators that he had not planned to hurt anyone. He was simply trying to enhance his image.

The Bible says:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3).

In the original language, selfish ambition referred to scheming to get ahead and acting out of a mercenary self-interest.

While there’s value in having an ambition to please the Lord and accomplish His work, our sinful nature can easily turn ambition toward ourselves, so that our goals become gaining an advantage over others or getting recognition no matter what the cost. When we give in to our own ambitions, we can rationalize almost anything – usually with explosive results!

According to Scripture, the remedy for selfish ambition is twofold:

1.     Choosing the path of humility. Humility is a deliberate decision to stop placing our own needs and desires first.

2.     Treating others as though they were more important than we are. In our marriages, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our church, and in all of our relationships, God calls us to prefer other people above ourselves.

Think of some practical ways you can avoid selfish ambition today. It could be something as simple as serving the rest of your family their slices of pizza before you take yours, performing a chore around the house that someone else usually does, asking someone at work what you can do to help him or her, or performing some inconspicuous act of service and making sure no one ever finds out you did it.

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!