Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stewarding Ambition with Faithfulness

In our prior discussions on how a Christian should responsibly steward his/her ambition, we touched on why we might consider dreams and ambitions as gifts to be embraced rather than burdens to be shunned. The first post also addressed the importance of right motivations in stewarding our ambitions. The second post in this series noted why trusting God for our ambition is crucial.

In this third and last post of the Stewarding Our Ambition series, I'd like to highlight the need to pursue our ambitions with faithfulness toward God.

A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 28:20

When it comes to stewarding ambition, faithfulness means being willing to prepare and apply yourself to accomplish your goals. To some, it may appear unspiritual to work heartily towards our ambition but such initiative when properly motivated is actually a result of God's work in our hearts. Here's what 19th century pastor, C.H. Spurgeon has to say about how faith inclines a man to an industrious life:

He who does nothing believes nothing-that is to say, in reality and in truth. Faith is but an empty show if it produces no result upon the life. If a professor manifests no energy, no industry, no zeal, no perseverance, no endeavour to serve God, there is cause gravely to question whether he is a believer at all. It is a mark of faith that, whenever it comes into the soul, even in its lowest degree, it suggests activity... Faith does not permit men to lie upon the bed of the sluggard, listless, frivolous, idle; but it makes life to appear real and earnest, and so girds the loins for the race.

For instance, if you believe that God would have you launch a new business, then preparing yourself towards this goal actually honors God. This preparation may take the form of education or developing experience but such initiative speaks to how you value and handle with care, the dreams God places upon your heart. To not show any initiative to prepare only speaks of unbelief or presumption on our part. It may indicate that you've treated with contempt the impressions or dreams God has given to you. Or it may reveal a presumptious hyper spirituality that devalues hard work but still expects God to bless our laziness.

Stewarding with faithfulness also means being faithful to apply God's truth without compromise. If accomplishing our ambition means cutting ethical corners, the Christian must resist with vehemence any temptation to compromise. We cannot marginalize the gospel in any aspect of our daily lives, least of all in the pursuit of ambition.

It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.
3 John 1:3

Ultimately, we steward our dreams and ambitions with faithfulness because we want to be found faithful before our King on the last day. On that day, what will matter most, is not the substance of our dreams but whether we exercised faithfulness over the gifts God has given to us. Like the servant in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, we should long to hear the words of commendation "well done, good and faithful servant...enter into the joy of your master". This means treating all of our lives, especially our goals and ambitions with a sober faithfulness. We dare not live otherwise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! It is a great reminder that we are not our own but Christs. Also that we are not in control over our life, but must have complete dependence and trust in Gods will for us.