Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Selfish Ambition, where does that get people? Well, it does provide temporary satisfaction but at what cost. Family, friends, coworkers, mentors, all can be burned by the neglect and disrespect that ambitious and vainly conceited people cause. Some do not realize it until it is too late. Some never realize it. When a person cares more for the self and not for others, that person will end up living a very lonely life even when surrounded by others.
What is selfish ambition? It is the act of being devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives. When a person devotes everything to the self, God and family take second place in that individuals life. Bridges are burned that could have been useful later in life. Self-devotion leads to loneliness and final darkness without God.
We need to be aware of this as we go through life. Jesus does tell us to make sure we are healthy and stable physically and spiritually, however, not at the cost of the well-being of others. Taking care of the needs of others can mean many different things. For heads of corporations that means not to hoard but share the wealth by ensuring people are taken care of through the best benefits in all ways: health, finances both now and retirement, a non-hostile work environment, etc.
For the individual, a person should take time starting God and with the family. Children are the future and repeat what they see, both words and actions. The spouses’ physical and emotional well-being are important to a good relationship. Be a helping hand to others but not at the expense of placing yourself in debt or danger (unless absolutely necessary). Do not ask for reward nor do something and expect immediate compensation. God will bless for the good you have done.
The most important thing about all this is being humble in all actions and words. Take credit for nothing but give God the Glory.
Vain conceit means “excessive pride” or “self-esteem that has no foundation in reality”. It is an elevated and incorrect sense of self. Therefore, doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit means not letting our actions be motivated by selfishness, pride, or one-upmanship.
All this sounds like a very lonely way of life but some people thrive in this and the family reaps the benefits of material wealth but are truly spirit deficient. The dangers to the family are worse than the damage the individual causes for him/her self because this way of life is repeated until someone finally wakes up and sees everything that has been missed out on.
When God is in the picture, the self is put away and all things are done for God’s Glory. Remember, Jesus asks us to look at the eternal and not worry about today. This is temporary, life with or without God is eternal. The choice is yours.
Rob, Servant of God