“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:2–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Ambition is an eager or strong desire to achieve something. To be selfish is to be concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. Thus, selfish ambition is the desire to achieve for one’s own benefit without concern for others. Someone who is vain has or displays an undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance or achievements. Conceit is excessive appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue. Kind of a double whammy of being wrapped up in oneself. It is hard to imagine anyone with such characteristics could possibly be concerned with the interests of anyone else or in humility (a modest or low view of one’s own importance).
“[Our] attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5–8, NIV 1978).
If there was ever anyone would be justified with having selfish ambition or vain conceit, it would be the One “being very nature God.” Yet, forsaking His own interests, He considered ours of such great importance that He died a horrible death on the cross. Now that’s humility!
My Advice – Thank God for looking to our interests and saving those of us who “believe and receive” an eternity in hell. Do not let your own selfish ambition or vain conceit blind you from seeing and appropriating this wonderful gift made possible by His death on the cross.