In Philippians 2:3, Paul warned us servants of the Lord, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit.”
Over the years, I have observed that one persistent, pervasive problem in the church is personal ambition and competition among leaders, specifically ministers. Lest I sound judgmental, let me add that I observed this tendency first and foremost in my own life.
We often make the mistake of equating security with success. We think, If I build the biggest church or hold the largest meeting or amass the most names on my mailing list, I will be secure. But this is a delusion. In actual fact, the more we aim at personal success, the less secure we become. We are continually threatened by the possibility that someone else might build a bigger church or hold a larger meeting or amass more names on his mailing list.
As for me, I have found my perfect pattern in Jesus, who said, “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29). I am no longer motivated by personal ambition. I have discovered a sweeter, purer motive: simply to please my Father.
I am training myself to approach every situation and decision with a single, simple question: How can I please my Father? In times of frustration or apparent failure, I seek to turn my focus from trying to solve the problem to maintaining an attitude that is pleasing to my Father. As servants of Christ, there will be no competition among us if we are motivated by the simple desire to please our Father. Harmony and mutual concern take the place of striving and self-seeking.