Another freedom that comes from our new heart, new nature, and new disposition is the freedom from selfish ambition. Throughout the New Testament, the apostles highlight selfish ambition as one of our worst enemies. James writes, “If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, and demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:14-16).
Selfish ambition is arrogance unchecked. Selfish ambition is earthly, natural, and demonic. Selfish ambition sows seeds of discord, disorder, and every evil thing. We and our selfish ambition really are our last and worst enemy. So what is the remedy?
The cure for selfish ambition is its opposite; humility of mind. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard each other as more important than yourselves…Have the same mind as Jesus Christ who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:3, 5-8). We are to have the same humility of mind as modeled by Jesus when He humbled Himself.
Do you know that this humility of mind is available to you? Do you know that if you have received Christ, you have been indwelt with the mind of Christ? In I Corinthians chapter 2, the apostle Paul highlights the fact that we have been given the mind of Christ. “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised” (I Cor 2:14). To the natural man, humility appears to be foolish. To the spiritual man, we see its great value. And we can appraise things spiritually because we “have been given the mind of Christ” (I Cor 2:16). This short last phrase of chapter 2 almost seems to appear in passing, “We have been given the mind of Christ.” But it is extremely powerful to dwell on.
Did you know you have the mind of Christ? Now put that mind into action by embracing the humility of Christ (Phil 2:5-8) and letting Him set you free from selfish ambition!