Man is a very ambitious being, and this attitude is a necessary part of his life and survival on this earth. But due to the distorting presence of sin nature in us, every feeling is distorted, and his ambition is no exception to this. A desire for obtaining the right things for the right motive is to be encouraged, but when it takes the form of craving for each and every thing without any control, it becomes a sinful attitude. This is to be discouraged at all cost.
We see this principle very pictorially in Psalm 131 where David expresses the correct type of attitude. He says that he is not trying to reach things which are great and wonderful in human sight. In fact anything can become great and wonderful to a person who does not have sufficient spiritual discernment and wisdom. It might be a degree, a job, a coveted position, a particular marriage partner. In fact a person with the wrong kind of ambition can covet for anything (from insignificant to fantastic) that is beyond his reach. At the same time he will overlook things which God has kept within his reach for his constant use !!
It is necessary for us to examine these things because a wrong type of ambition betrays two things : an attitude of pride, and an attitude of not depending upon the Lord for receiving the things that we really need. In the last part of this psalm we note that a person with the right kind of attitude and trust in the Lord can be compared with an infant in the lap of its mother. Just as this child is calm and quite, without trying to reach anything that is beyond its need and reach, so a discerning believer should be.
Our life on this earth is not an easy one. There are numerous things around us which constantly call our attraction; we are told that we are somehow weak, inferior, and incomplete without those things. It is quite frequent for a Christian counselor to see men and women who are at the point of mental breakdown just because they are not able to control their cravings. But their ambition to get the fantastic and unreachable things of this world is destroying their mental balance. Only a fully trusting attitude can restore what they have lost.
Sometime ago I met a young man who was worried to death about his future. He was doing his master’s degree at that time, but all the time he was occupied with thoughts about his future. Many of his friends were able to get good jobs by paying a bribe, and they were already owners of many of the status symbols of the society, all because of one reason : they all belonged to rich families. This young man was from a poorer family. However, in all this he had forgotten one most important principle: it is not our money which ultimately decides our destiny. Many persons might have made their destiny with the help of money, but a Christian should realize that money or no money, his destiny is in the hands of the Lord ! He will provide all what is really needed at the right time. Since this boy had not understood this truth, he was destroying his mental health, and at the same time he was overlooking his most important present duty : studying faithfully !! This way his own false ambition was destroying his own future and mental health. May the Lord help each one us to keep our ambitions in proper balance.
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