“If you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.”
There is a plague in our world. At its worst it is the root of wars, poverty, hatred and injustice. In our everyday life it is what causes arguments, hurt feelings, disappointment and ungodly behavior. James calls this plague “jealousy and selfish ambition”. He goes further to call it, “unspiritual and demonic behavior” and assures us that wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and evil of every kind. Now does this mean that it wrong to have ambition? Is it wrong to desire goals? Is it wrong to have nice things? The answer to all three questions is, “No!” Where wrong comes in is when we live our lives independently of God. It is when we make our goals without considering the way He desires us to live that we are susceptible to major discontent. We listen to the world and start to desire fame and fortune. We create goals that we think will lead us to the place we need to be and nothing better get in our way. The cure for jealousy and selfish ambition is to develop a relationship with Christ. Talk to Him. Tell Him about your desires and dreams. Ask Him to show you how you should live. Ask Him to help you create goals that will honor Him. When you do, you can also leave the results to Him. You are already accepted by Him and loved unconditionally. When you really start to believe that, there will be no room in your heart for cheap imitations. There will be no reason for jealousy or selfish ambition.
Father, forgive me for taking my eyes off of you and setting up my own kingdom. I know that jealousy and selfish ambition have been prevalent in my life. I renounce these attitudes and ask that You would show me Your will for my life. Help me be content and live a life pleasing to you.
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