Sunday, June 8, 2008

GREEN EYED MONSTER...June 8 devotion

AMBITION is one of those terms that can mean something very good or something very bad, depending on the context.

If we say that someone "has no ambition", we are not generally complimenting them.

If we describe a politician as "ambitious", that is not a compliment either.

Like many things in life, what seems like an appropriate dose can be fatal if you get an overdose. A medication like an aspirin can relieve a headache or help protect against heart attacks, but with the incorrect dose, an aspirin can cause the stomach to bleed.

Ambition is the same way. It can help you reach your highest potential; but taken in excess, it can cause havoc on an organization and leave relationships bruised and destroyed.

How does one know when
they are overdosing on ambition?

When you see a person's face turn greenish, you can be sure they are not feeling well. Something has happened to throw their system out of whack. Spiritually, the same thing can happen when we become "green with envy".

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the question, "In what area of life do you most tend to envy others?" The top 3 results were a 3-way tie....

28% of those polled, said they envy others family life
28% voted physical appearance was something they envied
28% of others said they envy professional success of others

Envy is a symptom that says our ambition is no longer healthy and has turned selfish. Instead of focusing on us being the best we can be, selfish ambition starts focusing on tearing down the person who is performing well, so we might not look so bad.

If you turn on your television set, you will find a variety of "reality" shows. One of the first ones I remember was the show called The Apprentice. This show offered a variety of young would-be entrepreneurs to compete with each other to impress Donald Trump and win a high-paying executive position. All of the contestants were quite ambitious, many of whom were cut-throat in their approach. Those who participated in this show displayed a confidence merely because of the success of Donald Trump. Trump built a billion-dollar empire.

Jesus Christ, however, is building an eternal kingdom. Selfish ambition has no role in the kingdom of God. Look at a few examples in the New Testament that found this out...

* JAMES and JOHN ask to sit at the right and left hand; but Jesus shot them down
(Matthew 20:20-28; mark 10:35-45)

* SIMON, a magician who was concerned with his own personal greatness, sought to buy the gifts of the Spirit, but Paul angrily turned him away (Acts 8:9-25)

Healthy ambition is fed by a
spiritual wisdom that comes from God.

JAMES 3:17
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good-fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy."

To be a servant leader, we need to nurture healthy ambition. We need to avoid destructive and selfish ambition. We need to see ourselves accurately. If we find ourselves envying others for their creative talent... seek to submit your ambition to Jesus Christ instead of allowing the GREEN EYED MONSTER to surface.

"To get the best out of who we are, we cannot "dismiss the organist" and expect the organ to play itself. We have to let God direct our ambitions."
- PAUL TOURNIER, Christian Psychiatrist



It is my prayer and desire that this week we will strive to submit to the One who made us and knows us best, and that thru our ambitions that the best of who we are will emerge!

Have a GOD-filled week!

Blessings, Laurie

I will begin a 3 - part study on forgiveness. Please stop by and check out my FATHERS DAY special blog entitled, "MY FATHER'S EYES". During these next 3 weeks, I will be sharing my testimony of God's restoration in my life.

Please take time to vote in this weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, "what characteristic of your Dad do you most resemble?" YOUR OPINION REALLY DOES MATTER!

1 comment:

Deanna Shrodes said...

Great thoughts - I really appreciate them as it helps me sort through a few thoughts I've been having in an appropriate manner. Thank you!