Good morning my friends,
Ambition is an interesting beast; that urge to become more, to become better, to become the best. Ambition is something that a number of people I know could use a good dose to help them to achieve their goals. On the other hand, unbridled ambition is a very dangerous thing that can extort a very high price from many people connected to that ambition. Ambition is good as long as it does not become all consuming.
When it does become all consuming compromise is fast at its heels. Compromise is found when ambition decides the the end justifies the means. In other words, it does not matter how you reach your goal as long as you reach it. This attitude from one individual can cause a great deal of trouble and heartache for a lot of people.
Some people who have the goal to become wealthy will do crooked things to get money. Investors who will steal people's investments or set aside aspects of their morality to bend the rules, hurting many people along the way. Athletes who decide that winning is everything and take drugs to enhance their performance. When they get caught they bring great shame to their family, friends and country. Ambition can bring with it small and large comprises but they always result in the same thing.
In this morning's Bible reading (Judges 9, 10) we read about a man with a very large ambition; he wanted to be king. We also read of a city that wanted a king. Both man and city ended up making big compromises to reach their goal. They saw no value in working toward their goal in a proper manner. The city of Shechem did not want the hassle of going through a process of choosing a king. They chose to put to death seventy men to shorten the process. Maybe that has no affect on you because you are use to reading such things in the Bible, but imagine the city of Montreal putting to death seventy men to make an election easier. Abimelech became a dangerous and vicious man because of the ambition he held in his heart. We can see his character in the way he attacked and destroyed a city whose crime was that it held some rebellious brothers. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives because of this blind ambition.
It is not good to work toward a goal without keeping God's moral code in its proper place in our life. Jesus told us that the end never justifies the means, that we should never lose our life to gain the world. He warned us that we would end up losing our life (eternal) if we compromised in this manner. Ambition is good to a point but it must be an ambition that is governed by our love of God. Even in our desire to see certain things achieved we must constantly be aware of the small compromises that knock on the door of God's morality. Small compromises lead to much larger compromises. We must be very careful to maintain who we are in Jesus Christ or we will lose everything.
I wonder if Abimelech thought it was all worth it as his servant plunged the sword into him?