I’m muddling toward clarity on the idea on Christian ambition. It’s still mostly muddle. Ambition seems inherently competitive to me. I can’t see my way to a definition that doesn’t result in that. I’m not a competitive person, and I prefer college sports to pro sports because I (naively) believe the players still do it for the love of the game (no overjustification, yet). I don’t see how competition fits into the life of a Jesus follower. If you do, I would love to hear your thoughts.
That’s why I appreciated this quote today from Jesus on Leadership: “We don’t see opportunities for service while our eyes are fixed on competition.”
It’s probably easier to serve those we think are above or below us than it is to serve those who we believe are threats to our own advancement. That’s the spirit of competition. Even I feel that drive to outdo my opponent. Why is it easier to serve those who don’t pose a threat to us? Because then it doesn’t require any real sacrifice. There’s really nothing at stake. But serving the competition may give them the edge they need to take our place.
Competition focuses us on ourselves and away from others whom we can serve. We are looking to our own interests, instead of the interests of others (Phil 2:4). Service focuses our attention away from ourselves toward others. Service and competition are in conflict.