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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ambition and True Greatness

From Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders, Chapter One.

Desiring to be great is not a sin. It is motivation that determines ambition's character. Our Lord never taught against the urge to high achievement, but He did expose and condemn unworthy motivation...

All Christians are called to develop God-given talents, to make the most of their lives, to develop to the fullest their God-given powers and capacities. But Jesus taught that ambition that centers on the self is wrong...

Ambition that centers on the glory of God and welfare of the church is a mighty force for good...

True greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you...We must aim to put more into life than we take out.

Jean said:

Lord, I read these words with renewed conviction. I spent many years "leading" a para-church organization--a Christian school. For many years including and surrounding that time I learned academically and pragmatically about leadership.

Leadership equates with influence. Desiring to step into positions of leadership means becoming aware of how powerful my influence upon others really is, and turning that power over to You.

O, my Lord, how frightening to realize that I have influenced not only the temporal lives of so many people, but their eternities. And the eternities of everyone they do, and will, influence.

Whether I like it or not, I not only was a leader, I still am. Day after day, person after person, I influence people's lives and eternal destinations. Such power can be exhilarating, even addictive.

Or it can be gratifying and humbling.

Lord, I do aspire to be a leader. That is one of the reasons I write. I pray the words I pen and the life I live will leave a wake of changed hearts, changed people, changed eternities.

I want that ambition to radiate from a desire to bring You glory and to enhance the welfare of Your Church, Your people. Keep me, Father, from selfish ambition.

God said:

To radiate My radiance through your service.