“Slay the Beast of Ambition before It Slays You”
J. R. Briggs
As a type-A oldest child and driven leader, I find that my RPMs are in the red zone much of the time. Sometimes this can be beneficial, but when left unchecked it can be incredibly detrimental to my soul—and also the souls of those I am called to lead.
I’ve had to repeat this phrase to myself and many other ministry leaders I’ve connected with. Ambition isn’t inherently a bad thing. Drive and motivation can be helpful. Paul was quite an ambitious leader. Paul was careful to qualify his instruction to the Philippian church by telling them to do nothing out of selfish ambition (see Philippians 2:3).
Ambitious leaders attract other ambitious leaders. Sadly, my identity as a male in a North American context is determined way too easily by what I do and how well I do it. This runs counter to my gospel identity that tells me that, because of God’s immense grace, I am not defined by what I do or ...1