Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ambition and the Christian

A recent conversation with a friend convinced me that many christians in the marketplace are confused about what to do with personal ambition. As we spoke, I realized that he was struggling to discover how to pursue his dreams and ambitions without compromising his first love. I recognized the struggle in him because I've been there and am still there to some degree.

Ambition for the Christian is a curious thing. We are conflicted because we've heard the cautionary tales of Christians gone awry with selfish ambition. Yet, we feel the pull of a God given desire to be productive. It led me to explore the topic in a three part series on my Every Square Inch blog.

For those not inclined or don't have time to check out my posts, the key takeaways from the posts include:
  • Dreams and ambitions are gifts from God that we should steward in a responsible manner. Rather than retreating from ambition, we should embrace it as God's gift to us.
  • Stewarding ambition with responsibility entails being rightly motivated.
  • Pursuing ambition as a Christian must involve a trust in God.
  • While we explore our ambition, we must do so in faithfulness.

Otherwise, if you're interested to check it out, here are the links

Part 1 - Stewarding Our Ambition

Part 2 - Trusting God with Our Ambition

Part 3 - Stewarding Ambition with Faithfulness

Join the conversation on this topic at Every Square Inch and tell me what you think.


Guliani said...

Tim Keller: Christians should be a people who
integrate their faith with their work. Culture is a set of shared
practices, attitudes, values, and beliefs, which are rooted in common understandings of the "big questions"-where life comes from, what life means, who we are, and what is important enough to spend our time doing it in the years allotted to us. No one can live or do their work without some answers to such questions, and every set of answers shapes culture.

Most fields of work today are dominated by a very different set of answers from those of Christianity. But when many Christians enter a vocational field, they either seal off their faith and work like
everyone else around them, or they spout Bible verses to their
coworkers. We do not know very well how to persuade people of
Christianity's answers by showing them the faith-based, worldview roots
of everyone's work. We do not know how to equip our people to think out the implications of the gospel for art, business, government,
journalism, entertainment, and scholarship. Developing humane,
creative, and excellent business environments out of our understanding of the gospel can be part of this work. The embodiment of joy, hope, and truth in the arts is also part of this work. If Christians live in major cultural centers in great numbers, doing their work in an
excellent but distinctive manner, that alone will produce a different kind of culture than the one in which we live now.

andre said...


Thanks. What a great comment from you. I agree - it's the outworking of that in practice that is so challenging. That's why I started my blog Every Square Inch...and also why I blog here at The Agora. Both to promote ongoing conversation about how to do what you suggest