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What Does the Bible Say About Ambition and Pride?

 

Take Advice from the Bible

To God, it is not “glorious to seek one’s own glory” (Proverbs 25:27). Beyond that, God holds anger against pride, conceit, selfish ambitions and apathy (Galatians 5:19-21; James 3:14-16; Philippians 2:3; Galatians 5:16-26; Romans 2:8).[1]  

God demands us that “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others” that “we who are strong ought to bear with the shortcomings of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Philippians 2:4; Romans 15:1).

Sense of superiority breeds pride and prideful people tend to belittle or devalue others without awareness. Prejudice-based bullying is omnipresent. By devaluing others, people commit the sin of discrimination or even bullying consciously or not.  That’s why the Bible says “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Indeed, prideful people are more likely to be arrogant, stubborn, and arbitrary. A prideful heart will lose the ability to listen and repent. 

[1] The Bible underlines the importance of sharing. Remember, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). According to the Bible, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30). 

The Bible says, “If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts,” you will “find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:14-16).

What Does the Bible Say About Pride and Ambition? 

God demands us that “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” that “We who are strong ought to bear with the shortcomings of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Philippians 2:4; Romans 15:1).

“Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University, coined the term “power paradox” to describe what happens when we gain power through leadership: we subsequently lose some of the capabilities we needed to gain it in the first place—such as empathy, self-awareness, transparency, and gratitude.”― Paul Jarvis, Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big

 

Margaret W. Lavigne: Situated in a glocal materialistic capitalist society, there’s a link between personal worth, career, ego, and social standing. The more awareness of the link, the more likely for you to be misguided. Pride costs a fortune. By being prideful means that you believe that you do not need to take advice from others anymore. By being prideful, you believe that you can make the best decision and judgments alone. By being prideful, you lose the ability to listen. By being prideful, you lose the ability to earn wisdom from anyone. The company’s interests may not always align with the interests of the customers. Priorities and motives matter for sure. Only a few companies will last decades because most people are more likely to be ensnared by pride, vanity, and greed. They end up losing God’s luck. 

 

More Bible Verses 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful …

 

Margaret W. Lavigne 司馬儀

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