rebelling against low expectations

Is it right for Christians to be ambitious?


EKA WRITES: My question is: Is it right for a Christian teenager to be an ambitious person? I eagerly wait for your point of view, folks. God bless.

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  • Here is my take. If you look up the word ambitious, the definition is: having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed. Synonyms of the word are things like: determined, enthusiastic, energetic, and zealous. Notice that last word. Zealous. In the Bible, (Acts 22:3) Paul says, “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.”

    Also, throughout the New Testament, James and John were referred to as zealous, gaining the nickname, The Sons of Thunder.

    We see throughout God’s Word many strong men in the faith like the ones listed above –– Paul, James, John –– that were zealous in their faith. That says to me that God wants us to be energetic and excited about our faith. We should be ambitious and energetic about the right things like sharing our faith and living for God. It is wrong to be ambitious in a wrong or inappropriate way.

    Hope this helps and explains it well. God Bless!

  • I looked up the word ambition in my ESV Bible’s concordance.

    “13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18

    “20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,“Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” Romans 15:20-21

      • I use my concordance all the time. It comes in handy for word definitions I am not so sure about. I am so glad I could be helpful (:
        Keep being ambitious for God!

  • To put it simply: Of course we should be ambitious! Just so long as we are being ambitious for the right things. Like Haven said, we are called to be ambitious about spreading the gospel and praising God.

    As far as the aspect of succeeding, there is nothing wrong with wanting to succeed. The only way that could be a problem is if you turn that into perfectionism and you can’t accept failure. So, we should want to succeed, to reach our goals for the glory of God, but if we fail, we have to be okay with that and learn to get back up again instead of letting our failures ruin us.

  • I would say yes! God wants us to live by higher standards than the world gives us, so we should definitely aim high and make ambitious goals. 🙂 It’s better to rail when aiming for a high standard than to succeed at a dozen smaller, worthless things.

  • Of course! As long as you aren`t pushy to people, you don`t overwork yourself, and you are ambitious in things God would want, it is a wonderful thing!

  • Being ambitious is great–just make sure your motives are right and you are seeking His fame, not yours. Something I have to remind myself of every day!

  • That depends on your motivation. Is it stemming from an ambition to serve God and others, to become a better person, and to learn? Or is it stemming from a selfish heart that wants to gain more and more and more? I might add that there are some things that we are supposed to be ambitious for that one might not necessarally think…

    11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

    1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

    Therefore, we are supposed to be ambitious about small things as well as large ones. Be ambitious to lead a quiet life, or to change the world. Whatever your calling, be ambitious about it.

  • I don’t see why not. If you don’t have any goals, then your life is going to be pretty stagnant. Doing hard things is pretty ambitious! And of course you don’t want to set goals that won’t glorify Him.

  • Ambitious is a very broad word, but in a general sense, yes, it is good for Christians to be ambitious as long as it is for the right reasons. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” this means that we should do every good thing with our all, however not everything is worth pursuing. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” if something is the root of all evils, it is not something to pursue, and if we do, it will not bring glory to God.
    So in conclusion, if something is Godly, and will bring glory to God, being ambitious for that thing is good as long as you’re trying to bring glory to God, not yourself. If something does not bring glory to God, then it is not worth being ambitious for. For an example, working hard at your job to show everyone how great you are is not bringing glory to God; however, if you work hard at your job because people will notice your love of serving others, and how you love God, then it is good to be ambitious.

    Hopefully that was clear.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →