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Tullian Tchividjian Christian Blog and Commentary

Is Ambition Always Sinful?

  • Tullian Tchividjian
    William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A Florida native, Tullian is also the grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham, a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a contributing editor to Leadership Journal. A graduate of Columbia International University (philosophy) and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando (M.Div.), Tullian has authored a number of books including Jesus + Nothing = Everything (Crossway). He travels extensively, speaking at conferences throughout the U.S., and his sermons are broadcast daily on the radio program LIBERATE. As a respected pastor, author, and speaker, Tullian is singularly and passionately devoted to seeing people set free by the radical, amazing power of God's grace. When he is not reading, studying, preaching, or writing, Tullian enjoys being with people and relaxing with his wife, Kim, and their three children—Gabe, Nate, and Genna. He loves the beach, loves to exercise, and when he has time, he loves to surf.
  • 2009 Dec 03
  • Comments

I've always been a pretty ambitious person. I don't like ceilings or limits. Like the adventurous Star Trekers, "I want to go where no man has gone before." I love thinking and dreaming about doing great things, about being a part of something great, something world-changing-and I've always felt guilty about this.

I have always wrestled with my motives and why I want to do great things. My struggle has always been how to discern the difference in my own heart between selfish ambition and God-centered drive. And to err on the safe side, I have at times tended to reduce the size of my dreams and lower my expectations. Under the banner of trying to be humble, I settle for less. 

I suppose I'll struggle with this tension for the rest of my fallen life in this broken world but now I'll have a new tool in my toolbox to help me sort through these things in a gospel-centered way.

Dave Harvey (Sovereign Grace Ministries) has written a book entitled Rescuing Ambition which comes out this Spring. The publishers description captured me immediately: 

Ambition has developed a reputation synonymous with the love of earthly honor and fame hunting. As a result, the organ of ambition—the God-implanted drive to improve, produce, develop, and create—is neglected and well on its way to paralysis. For some Christians, dreams are numbed. For others, there are no dreams; life just happens. One thing is certain: ambition needs help.

Dave Harvey is calling for a rescue. He wants to snatch ambition from the heap of failed motivations and put it to work for the glory of God. To understand our ambition, we must understand that we are on a quest for glory. Where we find glory determines the success of our quest. With his transparent humor and conversational tone, Harvey expounds on insights from Scripture and everyday life as he calls readers to reach further and dream bigger for the glory of God.

I can't wait to read this!