By Jeff Arnette
When it comes to goals and setting goals, Christians should only be setting worthy goals. We are too important to God and too much has been paid for us to waste our time on trivial, worldly goals. I am reminded of what scripture says at this point. Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10, and 1 Thessalonians 2:12 tells us to walk in a manner worthy of our Lord, of our calling, and of God.
As Christians we have a responsibility to walk worthy of the great cost paid for our salvation. If I am going to be successful in walking worthy of my Lord and live up to His expectations I must have a strong ambition.
What exactly is ambition? Ambition is, “A powerful personal drive towards achieving goals which are regarded as being of importance to the individual. Ambition is viewed negatively when these goals are selfish or evil, and positively when they are directed towards building up the church or furthering the kingdom of God” (Manser, Martin H. Dictionary of Bible Themes. London: 2009).
Now let’s clarify here. Selfish ambition is clearly condemned in scripture (Philippians 2:3), but striving to live for Jesus and put the kingdom first is not. In fact, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:31-33 that we must not get caught up in seeking selfish things, but He then tells us clearly to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness above all things.
My point is this: If we are going to be successful as Christians then we have to want it badly. We must strive, we must be ambitious, and we must put the kingdom ahead of all other things. Only then will we set goals that are worthy of being Christians. Carefully consider this last passage about the desire to win (ambition) as Christians.
1 Corinthians 9:24–27 - "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."
- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website